/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/120127.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Friday, January 27, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 19


COSTA CONCORDIA: Survivors Say Too Early for Class Action
COSTA CONCORDIA: Lawyer to File Class Action in Miami v. Parent
DRESDNER KLEINWORT: Former Investment Bankers File Class Action
FACEBOOK INC: Accused of Secretly Collecting Users' Information
GOVGUAM: Class Action Over Tax Refunds Can Move Forward

GOV'T OF CANADA: Faces Class Action Over First Nations Status
LEE CARTER: Recalls 25,000 Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
LEE CARTER: Recalls 7,000 Packs of Wrestling Action Figures
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: May Face Class Action Over Death Benefits
SAFELITE SOLUTIONS: CSRs' Class Action Nears Settlement

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: FTC Supports Price-Fixing Class Action
SILO BAKERY: Faces Class Action Over Alleged Food Poisoning
STATE STREET: Faces Class Action Over Fiduciary Breaches
TAMMANY HOLDING: Faces Environmental Class Action
UMPQUA BANK: Wants Customer Claims Settled Through Arbitration

VALLE FOAM: Files for Ch. 15, Seeks CCAA Case Recognition
WALMART: Still Faces Sex Discrimination Suit
WILLIS OF ILLINOIS: Misrepresents Sale of Insurance, Suit Says

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Drug Gets "Orphan Drug" Status
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kin of Asbestos Cleaner Talk About Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Contractor Denies Health Code Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Knowledge of Toxic Dangers Existed in 1920
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Remediation Costs of PA Plant May Top $1.1MM

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cloverleaf Mall Abatement to Complete in February
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Delay Work at Idaho College Campus
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Midway's $47,000 Bid Wins Streator Abatement Job
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of 2 Albuquerque Sites to Finish in Feb
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiffs May "Forum-Shop" Cases to Other States

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dechert LLP Lawyer Further Justifies SC Tort Rule
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement On for BART Modernization Project
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Proposed Mesothelioma Fund Still on U.K. Agenda
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol Water Says No Pollution Has Taken Place
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weber Aims to Reform Rules in Favor of Defendants

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Smith Pleads Guilty Sentenced to 5 Years in Jail
ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Found Hazards Add $300,000 to Abatement Cost
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Intake Firms, Pre-Assigned Trial Slots Explained
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposed Hazards Put Nursing Home for Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Pushes Hazard Check on Old Ferries

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Total Environmental Gets Fremont Abatement Job
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aquatic Centre Vermiculite At 'Below Risk' Level
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Employee's Family Sues Chevron and Texaco
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lopinot is St. Clair Cty's New Docket Master
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found in Northampton Nursing Home

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Debate Up Over Information From Asbestos Trusts
ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Univ. Holds on Chadha Amid Letter Campaign
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Phillip Foxman Companies Face 6 EPA Prosecutions
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oldham Council Ensures Abatement of The Coliseum
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Johnson Mine Heir Joins Letter-Writing Campaign

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovations Stir Up Toxic Fibers in Bayside Homes
ASBESTOS UPDATE: QFRS Suspects Toxic Contamination in Razed House
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1,000 Km of Asbestos Piping Found in Ethekwini
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol-Myers Gives $7 Million to Cancer Patients
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Violator Faces 2 Years and $250,000 Fine

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Princeton's Firestone Library Abatement Ongoing
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Imposed "Death Sentences" on Workers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Downtowner Abatement to Complete in 45 Days
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2 Violators Indicted for Improper Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Materials in Razed Turrella Factory Found

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Posts $157MM After-Tax Asbestos Provision
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Paterno Might Have Been Exposed to Toxic Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 60-Day Jail Term Too Light, Says Union President
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox LLP Wants Canadian Mines Closed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Cites Fewer Cases But Higher Jury Awards

ASBESTOS UPDATE: A.W. Chesterton and 61 Others Face Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Wins $420.4 million Ruling in NY
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer in Carolina Textile Workers Rising
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $600MM Thorpe Settlement Trust Ruling Reversed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Issues Halt Dearborn Towers Liquidation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Updates Information on Automotive Products
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Favors Crane Co. in Liability Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Ct. Remands Suit vs. Rockwell to State Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Denies Summary Judgment in Suit vs. Sovereign
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sealy Corp. Has No Plan to Renovate Plants Yet


COSTA CONCORDIA: Survivors Say Too Early for Class Action
KOB.com reports that just 10 days after a cruise ship ran aground
off Italy, the compensation battle is underway even though the
fate of some of the passengers on the Costa Concordia is still

Later this week, Miami lawyers are expected to file a class-action
lawsuit, asking for $160,000 for each surviving passenger.

Two more bodies were recovered on Jan. 23, bringing the confirmed
death toll to 15.  Officials said 17 others are still missing.

Albuquerque's Alex Beach and her husband, Arthur, survived.  She
said they got a call from the cruise line shortly after they
returned home.

"They said we would be hearing from them shortly on a compensation
package.  That the entire cruise will be compensated and they
would get back to us on what the further compensation will be,"
Mrs. Beach said.

She also expressed that it is too early to talk about the class-
action lawsuit that will be asking for $160,000 for each survivor.

Mrs. Beach said her and her husband have already received calls
from lawyers.

"But that is not something we're jumping on.  We're waiting to see
what kind of compensation package they're going to offer us," she

The cruise line has said it will give full refunds to all 4,000
passengers who were on the ship.  It is also offering a 30%
discount for survivors who want to go on future cruises.

COSTA CONCORDIA: Lawyer to File Class Action in Miami v. Parent
Christina Vazquez, writing for Local10.com, reports that a
personal injury attorney says he is working on filing a class-
action lawsuit in Miami on behalf of passengers on the Costa
Concordia, but a maritime attorney is critical of the suit.

Attorney Mitch Proner, who is based in New York, said the ship's
disgraced captain may be taking the heat, but the entire company
is at fault -- all the way up to Costa's parent company, Miami-
based Carnival Cruise Lines.  That is why he's working to file the
suit in Miami by Jan. 25, he said.

Hundreds of passengers will seek $160,000 each, more for those
with injuries -- a total that will reach more than $500 million if
all the ships passengers are paid.

South Florida board certified maritime attorney Jerry Hamilton is
critical of the pending lawsuit.  He argues that rarely, if ever,
has a suit related to a cruise line survived a legal challenge
when it comes to the ticket's venue clause.

Mr. Hamilton also thinks in this case, the individualized injuries
don't meet the legal level of a class-action suit because it would
be hard to show that everyone involved was damaged in the same

"This would be a frivolous lawsuit if filed in Miami against
Carnival," Mr. Hamilton said.  "The lawyers filing this suit would
potentially subject themselves to monetary sanctions entered
against them by the Court."

Meanwhile, a survivor told Local 10's Ms. Vazquez that Costa
called on Jan. 23, offering the Concordia passenger five free
psychological counseling sessions.  Costa spokesman Buck Banks
said on Jan. 24 that the company does not have a statement about
that at this time.

The passenger also received an e-mail from the company.

Mr. Hamilton can be reached at:

          Jerry D. Hamilton, Esq.
          150 Southeast Second Avenue, Suite 1200
          Miami, FL 33131
          Telephone: (305) 379-3686
          E-mail: JHamilton@hamiltonmillerlaw.com

DRESDNER KLEINWORT: Former Investment Bankers File Class Action
Jillian Berman at The Huffington Post, citing The New York Times,
reports that investment bankers are banding together to reportedly
sue their former employer, claiming the bank owes them tens of
millions of dollars in unpaid bonuses.

A group of 104 former investment bankers for the now-defunct
Dresdner Kleinwort are suing their former employer for $66
million, claiming the bank failed to pay them the guaranteed
bonuses -- or bonuses used in an aim to retain workers -- that
they were promised at the end of 2008, The New York Times reports.
The bank fell into crisis, along with the rest of the financial
system, and its parent company was ultimately taken over.

It's rare for a group of former employees to file a class-action
lawsuit over bonuses since bonuses are usually discretionary,
according to the NYT.  But guaranteed bonuses are somewhat of a
different animal -- they're promised to especially talented
workers or new hires in an effort to retain them -- and they're
making a comeback.  Banks boosted their use of the one-year
guaranteed bonus for new hires in 2010 amid pressure to recruit
stellar senior staff, according to the Institute for International
Finance, an industry advocacy group.

But discretionary bonuses are stoking some ire among some bankers.
This winter a group of bankers in the U.S. threatened to quit
their jobs at the Jefferies group if their bonuses weren't up to
snuff, according to the New York Post.

Fears of smaller bonuses aren't unique to employees at Jeffries.
Across the financial industry, companies are poised to dole out a
little less year-end cash.  Anxiety over the state of the global
economy, new regulations, slow dealmaking and public ire at banks
likely pushed banks to slash their bonus pools to the lowest level
since the 2008 financial crisis, according to The Wall Street

Morgan Stanley, for one, announced earlier this month that it
would cap all of its cash bonuses this year at $125,000, while top
executives won't receive any cash bonuses, according to a separate
NYT report.

Multiple estimates predict that Wall Street bonuses will fall this
year by a minimum of 20%, if not more.  At Goldman Sachs, bonus
day turned into a "bloodbath," one mid-level employee told CNBC
last week, as some workers were told that they weren't receiving
bonuses at all and even high-level employees learned that their
compensation could be cut in half.

Workers may have reacted in a dramatic fashion because they didn't
prepare themselves adequately for the hit.  More than 60% of Wall
Street workers said in an October survey that they expected their
bonuses to be in line with or higher than last year's.

FACEBOOK INC: Accused of Secretly Collecting Users' Information
Ryan Ung, Chi Cheng, and Alice Rosen, on Behalf of Themselves and
All Others Similarly Situated v. Facebook, Inc., Case No. 1-12-CV-
217244 (Calif. Super. Ct., Santa Clara Cty., January 24, 2012)
arises from Facebook's alleged surreptitious use of the "Like"
button and "Facebook Connect" to collect and store sensitive,
private, and personally identifiable information in violation of
the California Constitution and the California Penal Code.

The Plaintiffs allege that Facebook used the "Like" button and
Facebook Connect to collect their browsing history and personally
identifiable information without their consent using Facebook's
"datr tracking cookie," which was found in their computers.  The
Plaintiffs contend that they were not aware that Facebook was
collecting their personal information and, had they been aware,
would not have consented to this.

Mr. Ung is a resident of San Francisco, California.  He is a
Facebook member, who visited Web sites that display the Facebook
"Like" button, including anime44.com and crunchyroll.com.  Mr.
Cheng and Ms. Rosen, also residents of California, are non-
Facebook members, who visited Web sites in the Facebook Connect
network and subsequently visited a Web site displaying the
Facebook "Like" button.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jeff S. Westerman, Esq.
          David E. Azar, Esq.
          MILBERG LLP
          One California Plaza
          300 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 3900
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: (213) 617-1200
          Facsimile: (213) 617-1975
          E-mail: jwesterman@milberg.com

               - and -

          Sanford P. Dumain, Esq.
          Peter E. Seidman, Esq.
          Melissa Ryan Clark, Esq.
          MILBERG LLP
          One Penn Plaza
          New York, NY 10119
          Telephone: (212) 594-5300
          Facsimile: (212) 868-1229
          E-mail: sduman@milberg.com

               - and -

          Michael R. Reese, Esq.
          Kim Richman, Esq.
          875 Avenue of the Americas, 18th Floor
          New York, NY 10001
          Telephone: (212) 643-0500
          Facsimile: (212) 253-4272
          E-mail: mreese@reesrichman.com

GOVGUAM: Class Action Over Tax Refunds Can Move Forward
Kevin Kerrigan, writing for Pacific News Center, reports that a
lawsuit that seeks payment of all past due tax refunds has
survived a dismissal motion brought by GovGuam and won Class
Action status from visiting District Court Judge Consuelo

The lawsuit was filed in April of last year by Attorney Ignacio
Cruz Aguigui on behalf of Rea M. O. Paeste and others who want the
court to order GovGuam to "adjudge, decree and award Plaintiffs
and the Class all amounts duly owed by [GovGuam] . . . for all
unpaid income tax refunds."

Plaintiff's attorney Mr. Aguigui told PNC News on Jan. 24 that
they are pleased with the Judge's decision because their case can
now move forward.

Beyond seeking payments of the still outstanding tax refunds, he
said their aim is "institutional reform."  They want GovGuam to
create a system that will "properly handle and distribute tax
refunds in a timely fashion."

GovGuam sought dismissal on various grounds including failure of
the plaintiffs to exhaust their administrative remedies for tax
refunds and GovGuam's immunity from the claims.

However, curiously, GovGuam withdrew its motion to dismiss on the
grounds of mootness on Jan. 15.  That motion had argued that the
tax refund bond authorized and issued last year satisfied the
complaint made by the plaintiffs.

But that argument was not considered in the Judge's decision
because it was withdrawn, in a terse one page motion filed
Jan. 17 of this year.

In her decision announced from the bench, Judge Marshall rejected
the dismissal motion, agreed to grant Class action status to the
plaintiffs and ordered the parties to submit a joint status report
with scheduling deadlines.

Mr. Aguigui can be reached at:

          Ignacio Cruz Aguigui, Esq.
          DNA Bldg Ste 300
          238 Archbishop Flores St
          Hagatna, GU 96910
          Telephone: (671) 477-8064
          E-mail: iaguigui@yahoo.com

GOV'T OF CANADA: Faces Class Action Over First Nations Status
Michael Gormantruro, writing for Herald News, reports that a Truro
man is at the center of a class action over the denial of First
Nations status based on what he alleges is willful discrimination.

Christopher Robson's statement of claim, filed on Jan. 19 in Nova
Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax, lists the federal departments of
Indian and Northern Affairs (now known as Aboriginal Affairs and
Northern Development), National Revenue and Health as defendants,
as well as the provincial Finance Department and the former
provincial Fisheries and Agriculture Department.

Mr. Robson alleges the defendants created "a societal wall"
between him and his "Indian culture."

In an interview Jan. 23, Mr. Robson, 41, said his inability to
receive First Nations status has affected his sense of identity.

"Growing up and living in Toronto, I wasn't Indian.  Indian people
had status.  If you didn't have status, you weren't Indian.  I
look Indian, I've got the color and everybody calls me Indian, but
I wasn't."

Mr. Robson was born in Toronto.  When his parents separated, his
mother moved home to Nova Scotia and he stayed in Toronto, where
he operated his own flooring business until 10 years ago when he
moved to Nova Scotia.

Had he been able to move to a reserve with his mother, Mr. Robson
said he would have moved when she did.

"If I could have (grown) up on the reserve, I could have saved a
lot in rent," he said.  "I could fish and hunt and stuff like that
. . . . If I would have had my status, I would have definitely
moved here."

Although he is glad to be living and working in Nova Scotia,
Mr. Robson said it has been difficult finding a sense of place.

"I didn't have (any culture) until I came back and then I'd be
hanging around with the Indians living on the reserve and they're
telling me, 'You're not an Indian until you've got status.'"

The claim says the denial of status has resulted in Mr. Robson and
others like him paying taxes, health-care costs and other fees
they should not have.  They have also missed out on job, program
and educational opportunities and are at a disadvantage in trying
to become closer with their heritage and culture.

"The plaintiff has made significant life choices and decisions
based on the understanding that he was not eligible for Indian
status," reads the claim.

"As a result of the defendants' deceitful conduct, acts,
omissions, wrongdoings and breaches of legal duties and
obligations of the defendants, the plaintiff and class has
suffered injury and economic loss and damages."

The claim seeks various declarations from the government
departments, as well as an aggregate monetary award, other damages
and prejudgment interest.

The matter boils down to a question of gender bias.

Mr. Robson's grandmother lost her First Nations status when she
married a non-native man.  She regained it in 1985 after a change
to the Indian Act.  While the change granted Mr. Robson's mother
First Nations status, it didn't extend to Mr. Robson because under
provisions of the Indian Act, "the grandchild of a woman conceived
by way of a non-Indian father could not, unless that grandchild's
parent married an Indian themselves, receive Indian status."

The claim alleges gender-based discrimination because "the
grandchild of an Indian man who married a non-Indian woman would,
however, receive Indian status."

The claim alleges the decision violates the Charter of Rights and

As precedent, it points to the 2009 decision in McIvor vs. Canada
where "certain provisions of the Indian Act were declared
unconstitutional . . . by virtue of gender discrimination." In
that case, the court suspended its decision to give Parliament
time to amend the act.

That spawned Bill C-3, which would grant people in Mr. Robson's
position First Nations status.  It received royal assent on
Dec. 15, 2010, but has yet to be declared in force.

Mr. Robson's claim, however, says that Bill C-3 is, in itself,
discriminatory because it would preclude him from passing status
on to his own children because his status would be traced back to
his grandmother.

There would be no such problem if it were his grandfather, says
the claim.

Sharon McIvor, a lawyer and academic in British Columbia,
continues to advocate against Bill C-3.

Even if steps are being taken to address the issue faced by
Mr. Robson and people like him, his claim alleges Aboriginal
Affairs and Northern Development denied people status despite
knowing it was discriminatory.

"In light of the McIvor ruling, the plaintiff and the class have
always had, since 1985, the right to seek Indian status on or
after their 16th birthday, a fact which remains true,
notwithstanding the government's denial of that right for the past
26 years."

And while it is Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development alone
that grants First Nations status, "this responsibility does not
release the other defendants from liability for inappropriately
applying legislation and regulations under their authority to
Indians, or those eligible for registration, such as the

"All government actors are bound by the same constitutional
obligations toward aboriginal people."

None of the claims have been tested in court.  The departments
have not filed their defenses.

LEE CARTER: Recalls 25,000 Infant Rattles Due to Choking Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Lee Carter Co., of San Francisco, California, announced a
voluntary recall of about 25,000 infant rattles.  Consumers should
stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The rattle's handle is small enough to fit into a child's throat,
posing a choking hazard and violating federal rattle standards.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recalled rattles are made out of multi-colored, woven plastic
and have a bell inside.  They measure about 4 1/2 inches long.
"Made in Mexico" and "Lee Carter Company" are printed on a tag on
a purple plastic loop at the end of the rattle's handle.  A
picture of the recalled products is available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in Mexico and sold at
various Mexican specialty craft stores nationwide from February
2001 through October 2011 for about $4.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled rattles away from
infants and return them to Lee Carter Co. for a full refund or
credit towards a replacement product.  For additional information,
consumers should call Lee Carter Co. collect at (415) 824-2004
anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at

LEE CARTER: Recalls 7,000 Packs of Wrestling Action Figures
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Lee Carter Co., of San Francisco, California, announced a
voluntary recall of about 7,000 packs of Super Luchamania Action
Figures.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell
or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The surface paints on the action figures contain excessive levels
of lead which is prohibited under federal law.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recalled Mexican wrestling Super Luchamania action figures
were sold in packs of 12.  The multi-colored action figures are
plastic, have plastic capes and measure about four inches tall.
"Super Luchamania" is printed on the action figures' packaging.
Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in Mexico and sold at
various Mexican specialty craft stores nationwide from June 2000
through October 2011 for between $12 and $14 per pack.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled action figures away
from children and return them to Lee Carter Co. for a full refund
or credit towards a replacement product.  For additional
information, consumers should call Lee Carter Co. collect at (415)
824-2004 anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at

PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: May Face Class Action Over Death Benefits
Darla Mercado, writing for Investment News, reports that a death
benefit lawsuit filed in Illinois against Prudential Financial
Inc. and MetLife Inc. could lead to class-action lawsuits from

The state of Illinois has just unsealed a lawsuit filed by Total
Asset Recovery Services LLC against the two massive carriers,
alleging that the insurers owed the state some $524 million in
unclaimed death benefit proceeds that should have been escheated
to Illinois.

Further, TARS says the state whistleblower act entitled Illinois
to collect treble damages for a total of $1.57 billion.  The case
is a qui tam suit, meaning it's brought on the state's behalf and
Illinois' attorney general can decide to join as a plaintiff.

News of the suit, which was filed last January, was first reported
by The Wall Street Journal.

The case could give rise to class action suits filed by
beneficiaries who haven't received their death benefit proceeds.

"It wouldn't be a surprise if there were an angle for similar
consumer-based class action suits that could piggyback on these
state recovery laws," said Steven B. Davis, partner at Stradley
Ronon Stevens & Young LLP.

The complaint, filed in the circuit court of Cook County, is the
latest chapter in the unclaimed death benefits debacle.

Last spring, state treasury departments and controllers shed light
on carriers' use of the Social Security Administration's Master
Death File to terminate annuity payments on deceased individuals
-- and the companies' failure to use the list to identify dead
individuals whose death benefits became payable to beneficiaries.
In situations where beneficiaries couldn't be located, the
proceeds are to be submitted to the states under escheatment law.

The billion-dollar amount TARS is asking for dwarfs the amounts
carriers have paid or have reserved in anticipation of future
claims.  Prudential, for instance, is reserving $99 million for
claims tied to its financial services unit and about $40 million
for its closed block of life insurance business.  Meanwhile,
MetLife is reserving $117 million.

Mr. Davis can be reached at:

          Steven B. Davis, Esq.
          2005 Market Street, Suite 2600
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 564-8714
          E-mail: sdavis@stradley.com

SAFELITE SOLUTIONS: CSRs' Class Action Nears Settlement
Penny Stacey, writing for glassBYTES, reports that representatives
of Safelite Solutions have reached an agreement on the "essential
terms" of a settlement with the plaintiffs in a class action suit
filed by several current and former customer service
representatives (CSRs) in August 2010, according to court
documents.  The parties currently are working to finalize the
settlement and anticipate presenting it to the court for review in
early February, according to a joint motion by both plaintiffs and
defendants asking for a stay on the proceedings until that point
is reached.

The suit, which recently was expanded to include sales
representatives for the company, alleges that CSRs' paid hours are
based on their time logged into the company's computer system and
do not account for the time it takes for them to boot up their
computers prior to logging on to the company's phone system.

According to court documents, the settlement was reached after
private mediation between the parties.

The motion also outlines the parties' plans if the settlement is
not approved by the court.

"If the settlement is not approved, the parties would request a
scheduling conference to set new dates for discovery and motions
practice," reads the motion.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS: FTC Supports Price-Fixing Class Action
Kim So-hyun, writing for Korea Herald, reports that the nation's
antitrust watchdog said on Jan. 24 it will support a consumer
class action lawsuit for the first time against Samsung
Electronics and LG Electronics, which rigged prices for domestic

The Fair Trade Commission slapped the two companies with fines of
KRW44.6 billion ($39.6 million) for colluding to fix prices of
washing machines, flat screen televisions and laptop computers.

"We will provide financial aid for a class action suit led by the
Green Consumer Network in Korea as it searches for victims of
price rigging by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics," an FTC
official said.

The antitrust watchdog decided to support the suit as it concluded
that the fines were not enough relief for consumer damages.  The
companies got the fines cut under a leniency policy.

The commission has already secured KRW100 million to aid the legal

The Green Consumer Network in Korea has delayed the search for
plaintiffs, which it had previously planned to complete by
Feb. 14, to the end of next month in consideration of the FTC aid.
The commission's funds will be used for activities such as
publishing advertisements on Internet portals.

Consumers who purchased the price-rigged models between 2008 and
2009 can join the class action lawsuit by submitting the receipts,
product registration cards, a copy of their ID cards and letters
of attorney to the Green Consumer Network in Korea.  The cost for
the lawsuit is KRW20,000.

The nongovernmental organization will assess the amount of damage
for each consumer and add KRW500,000 in mental solatium to work
out the entire compensation.

"Consumers can get compensation of up to triple the actual damage
in the United States, but that is not the case in Korea.  We are
preparing for the lawsuit to send a warning message to companies
that just got off with reduced fines under the leniency policy,"
Lee Joo-hong, a senior staff member of the Green Consumer Network,

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were caught raising the
prices of flat screen televisions, washing machines and laptop
computers by up to KRW200,000 through price rigging and reducing
sales promotion fees as their profits were expected to fall on the
weakened Korean currency and slowing consumption.

SILO BAKERY: Faces Class Action Over Alleged Food Poisoning
Bianca Hall, writing for The Canberra Times, reports that ten
people have signed up to a class action lawsuit against speciality
Kingston eatery Silo Bakery, and there may be more.

The gourmet bakery and cheese shop, popular with politicians and
their staffers, was closed for three days in early December after
22 people became sick with salmonella.  It is alleged the group
became sick after eating chicken caesar rolls made with fresh egg
mayonnaise prepared in the bakery.

Six people were hospitalized.

Slater and Gordon associate Jonathon May said his firm was acting
for 10 people, "with a few pending enquiries" to the firm.

"We allege that the Silo Bakery was negligent in the way it
prepared and stored its food," Mr. May said.

"We allege this resulted in a number of cases of food poisoning
which has had a severe impact on all our clients.

"The nature and severity of the injuries vary from client to
client, but in general include severe nausea, stomach cramps,
diarrhea, muscular pain, headaches and other complaints.  Up to
five of our clients were hospitalized."

It is understood Silo Bakery has engaged its own solicitors,
although proceedings have not started.

Silo's owners declined to comment on the matter.  But it is
believed the class action will seek wages and other expenses the
salmonella victims lost during their illnesses, as well as
compensation for their pain and suffering.

On December 7, ACT Health Directorate chief health officer Paul
Kelly said salmonella had been found in mayonnaise containing raw

"All cases reported purchasing ready-to-eat food from the
implicated business on Friday 25th or Saturday 26th November," he
said.  "Food safety inspections of the implicated business have
been conducted, with the premises being closed for cleaning and
high-risk foods being destroyed."

An ACT Health spokeswoman said the directorate's investigation
into the matter was continuing.

STATE STREET: Faces Class Action Over Fiduciary Breaches
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
State Street Bank and Trust, as custodian of trust accounts,
"listed false information on client account statements," and "made
unauthorized cash disbursements from the custody accounts."

A copy of the Complaint in Davies v. State Street Bank and Trust
Company, et al., Case No. 12-cv-10128 (D. Mass.) (Gorton, J.), is
available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Theodore M. Hess-Mahan, Esq.
          110 Cedar Street, Suite 250
          Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
          Telephone: (781) 431-2231
          E-mail: thess-mahan@hutchingsbarsamian.com

               - and -

          Lynn Lincoln Sarko, Esq.
          Derek W. Loeser, Esq.
          Tana Lin, Esq.
          Laura R. Gerber, Esq.
          David J. Ko, Esq.
          1201 3rd Avenue, Suite 3200
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: 206-623-1900
          E-mail: lsarko@kellerrohrback.com

TAMMANY HOLDING: Faces Environmental Class Action
Kyle Barnett, writing for The Louisiana Record, reports that a
Slidell developer has been named in a class action lawsuit for
alleged environmental effects stemming from using its property as
a staging area in the demolition of a bridge.

Daniel Wagner, his family and other area residents filed suit on
Jan. 17 in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court against Tammany
Holding Company LLC and other parties.

The plaintiffs claim the holding company entered into agreement
with other contractors demolishing the old I-10 twin span bridge
that was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.  The filing alleges a
residential area is being used as a staging area where large
pieces of concrete are broken into smaller pieces and that through
that process high levels of concrete dust and particulate matter
accumulates on the properties of nearby residents.

The plaintiffs assert the dust causes adverse health effects to
those in the community.  It is also alleged that the ground
vibrations caused by the work have cracked the foundations of
nearby homes.

The defendants are accused of not obtaining the correct permits
for the job.  The plaintiffs also claim air quality tests obtained
from the site have revealed particulate matter in the air above an
acceptable level and that the defendants have failed to reduce
airborne dust emissions.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants are causing physical annoyance
and discomfort to neighbors who are being deprived of reasonable
enjoyment of their property.

The plaintiffs are seeking a judgment against the defendants that
would force them to acquire all necessary permits, install air
pollution controls, take reasonable precautions to prevent
particulate matter from becoming airborne, work in a manner that
prevents clouds of dust and that all work complies with parish law
regarding nuisance.

The plaintiffs are being represented by:

          Stuart Smith, Esq.
          SMITH STAG, LLC
          365 Canal Street, Suite 2850
          New Orleans, LA 70130
          Telephone: (504) 593-9600

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Christopher J.

Case number 2012-00453

UMPQUA BANK: Wants Customer Claims Settled Through Arbitration
Brent Hunsberger, writing for The Oregonian, reports that Umpqua
Bank is joining other major financial services firms in barring
customers from filing class-action lawsuits, requiring instead
that they arbitrate disputes privately, outside of a courtroom.

The moves come after a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings
upholding the right of companies to keep consumer disputes from
going before a judge or jury.  It also comes as banks battle
numerous class-action lawsuits over alleged deceptive practices.

Wells Fargo & Co. drew customer ire this winter when it announced
it was strengthening its mandatory arbitration requirement.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is giving customers a window to opt out of
its new arbitration agreement.

Umpqua, the largest Oregon-based bank and a division of Portland-
based Umpqua Holdings Corp., inserted the arbitration requirement
in a new deposit agreement mailed to customers last week.  It
takes effect Feb. 15.

The bank will require checking, money-market, CD and savings
account holders to resolve disputes through an arbitration service
in Portland.  It also will waive the customer's right to bring
claims as part of a class-action lawsuit or class arbitration.

"At the end of the day, arbitration is less expensive and faster,
should there be an issue for both us and the individual consumer,"
said Rick Calero, executive vice president for community banking
at Umpqua, in an interview on Jan. 23.

Competitors are taking similar steps.  Along with waiving the
right to bring a class-action, Wells Fargo's new agreement
specifies that "you and the bank are waiving the right to a jury
trial or trial before a judge in a public court."

Chase is giving existing checking and savings customers between
Feb. 1 and April 2 to opt out of binding arbitration.  New
customers can opt out within 60 days of opening an account.

All three banks are fighting national class-action lawsuits
brought by customers alleging they deceptively re-ordered debit
transactions to inflate overdraft fees.  Mr. Calero said Umpqua's
change was driven more by the need to make agreements uniform
across all its branches after acquisitions left it holding
different agreements.

"It's more of a coincidence that we're all doing it," Mr. Calero

Consumer arbitration agreements aren't new.  U.S. Bank has long
required customers arbitrate disputes, a spokeswoman said.

But language specifically waiving a consumer's right to join a
class action is less common.  Starbucks Corp., for instance,
requires its prepaid rewards card holders to forgo class actions
and travel to Seattle to arbitrate their claims, unless the
company agrees to another location.

Advocates of arbitration say it's a more appropriate and fair way
to resolve consumer disputes, many of which involve relatively
small amounts of money.

"Arbitrators have the right to award punitive damages, and they
do," said James Damis, administrator and founder of the
Arbitration Service of Portland Inc., which will handle Umpqua
claims.  "It's just when they do, they don't go nuts."

Consumer advocates counter that arbitration favors companies by
keeping disputes private, threatening consumers with higher costs
and prohibiting courts from reviewing most rulings.

"Class actions have historically been an effective way of checking
corporate malfeasance," said Delicia Reynolds, legislative
director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates in
Washington, D.C.  "We're still struggling with the effects of the
financial crisis.  Now's not the time to let companies off the

Consumer arbitration clauses often are tucked in the fine print of
multi-page service contracts.  While Wells Fargo and Chase
prominently noted the new language, a letter accompanying Umpqua's
new agreement from Mr. Calero did not highlight the change.

On Jan. 23, Mr. Calero said the many versions of the agreements
made it too difficult to point out the change.  "We just couldn't
do it this time around," he said.

Under Umpqua's new agreement, customers will have to pay $300 to
$500 to file an arbitration claim with Mr. Damis' service.
Arbitrators then bill at a cost of up to $200 an hour.

An arbitrator can order the losing party pay the winning party's
arbitration costs.  The loser can only appeal in court to allege
bias or fraud in the process, but not to challenge the accuracy or
reasonableness of an arbitrator's decision, Mr. Damis said.

Many states have tried to restrict arbitration agreements.  But
recent Supreme Court decisions have reversed one key limit and
reaffirmed the practice.

In April, the Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act
allows companies to prohibit consumers from arbitrating claims as
a group, or a class.  This month, the High Court backed a credit-
card company's right to resolve complaints in binding arbitration.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law allows the new Consumer
Finance Protection Bureau to limit mandatory arbitration in
banking.  But it must first study the need for such regulations.

"The CFPB already has too much on its plate and insufficient time
to focus on this relatively unimportant area," said Alan
Kaplinsky, an attorney in Philadelphia who helps banks use such

VALLE FOAM: Files for Ch. 15, Seeks CCAA Case Recognition
Deloitte & Touche Inc., as the court-appointed monitor, and
foreign representative, filed Chapter 15 petitions for Valle Foam
Industries (1995) Inc., Domfoam International Inc., and A-Z Sponge
& Foam Products Ltd. (Bankr. N.D. Ohio Case Nos. 12-30214,
12-30125, 12-30128).

Deloitte & Touche is seeking the U.S. court's recognitions of the
Valle Foam Group's proceedings under Canada's Companies' Creditors
Arrangement Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-36, as amended, pending before
the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List).

Deloitte said that the Valle Foam Group is in an industry in
transition and experiencing significant pressures from overseas
production sources.  Valle Foam and Domfoam each suffered a loss
in excess of C$5 million in fiscal 2011.  A-Z also suffered a loss
of C$50,000.

Valle Foam and Domfoam were recently charged with, and on Jan. 5,
2012, pled guilty to, certain offenses under the Canadian
Competition Act, RSC 1985, c. C-34 in connection with a price
fixing conspiracy conducted with other members of the industry.
Valle Foam was fined C$6.5 million, and Domfoam was fined C$6

In connection with the alleged price fixing, Valle Foam, Domfoam
and A-Z have been named as defendants in Canada in five class
action lawsuits, and in the United States in both class action
lawsuits and direct actions brought by various opt out plaintiffs.
The proposed class plaintiffs allege that Valle Foam and Domfoam
are jointly and severally liable for damages in excess of $100
million to class members.

The Chapter 15 proceedings have been initiated to obtain an order
staying present and new claims against Valle Foam, Domfoam, and
A-Z so that they can complete their restructuring in Canada.

The Valle Foam Group plans to restructure its business operations
and has sought the protection of the Canadian Court to give it
time to put together and execute its Plan.  The Valle Foam Group's
goals are to protect as many of the temporary and full time
Canadian jobs as possible and to secure the greatest possible
value for its assets.  The goals of the restructuring Plan may
require a sale of at least one of the Valle Foam Group.

The Valle Foam Group has approximately C$9 million of unsecured
debt, mostly trade debt (C$5.97 million), accrued payroll (C$1.268
million), accrued sales tax (C$218,000), and other liabilities of
(C$1.562 million).

WALMART: Still Faces Sex Discrimination Suit
Lila Shapiro, writing for The Huffington Post, reports that sex
discrimination is alive and well at Walmart, say lawyers who have
interviewed thousands of female employees in the years since Betty
Dukes and a handful of others first sued the company alleging
widespread gender bias.

Although the Supreme Court ultimately overturned the Dukes case
last summer -- siding with Walmart that the women did not share
enough in common to qualify as a class in what would have been the
largest class action discrimination suit in history -- plaintiffs'
lawyers haven't given up, and neither have the women.

"When we first began investigating, the discrimination described
by scores of women was more unvarnished," said Joseph M. Sellers,
the lawyer who argued Dukes v. Wal-Mart before the Supreme Court
and is forging ahead with this new litigation.

Mr. Sellers and the other plaintiffs' lawyers have not yet been
authorized to conduct a new formal investigation into the
company's practices.  However, based on anecdotal evidence from
ongoing interviews with former and current employees, Mr. Sellers
said that there appears to be more sensitivity in the way issues
of gender are spoken about in the Walmart workplace.  But in other
critical ways, Mr. Sellers said the company is still falling
short, especially when it comes to fair pay and promotions.

"Walmart seems much more aware of issues of gender discrimination
than when we first talked to the women a decade ago," Mr. Sellers
said.  "But I'm not convinced from the interviews we've had so far
that it's been much more successful in solving the problem."

In California and Texas, employees from the original complaint,
along with more women who have since stepped forward, are filing
new suits on the issue.  And the number of regional suits is
expected to mount in coming months.  However, many legal experts
think these new suits may share the same fate as the original, in
large part as a direct result of the Supreme Court's ruling last

Walmart has long denied any wrongdoing.  Although when previously
asked about the suit, the company emphasized that its corporate
policy forbids discrimination, encourages diversity and ensures
fair treatment.  When contacted last week, Walmart's legal counsel
declined to repeat those assertions.  Instead, the counsel pointed
to the Supreme Court's ruling, saying in these more recent suits,
too, the women lack enough in common to call themselves a class.

"The plaintiffs' lawyers have failed to come to grips with the
Supreme Court's decision," said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr.,
Walmart's lead counsel.  "This Texas complaint does not come close
to meeting the requirements for class certification, and relies on
the very same discredited theories and arguments that the Supreme
Court rejected when it reversed certification of the nationwide
class in the Dukes case last June."

Last week, in Texas, a group of Walmart women filed an expanded
class action lawsuit, alleging discrimination against female
employees at Texas stores.  The complaint was first filed last
October on behalf of plaintiff Stephanie Odle, one of the original
named plaintiffs in the Dukes case, but now includes six
additional named current and former female employees representing
a class of more than 50,000 Texan women.  The complaint also
includes recent instances of discriminatory practices from the
past several years.  The latest charges lack some of the overt
sexism from the original suit, but continue to allege unfair
treatment in the workplace.

Back in 2001, for example, one plaintiff involved in the original
class action suit testified that she was advised by a male manager
to "blow the cobwebs off my makeup and to doll up" if she wanted
to advance at the company.

But in the Texas suit, the most recent charge of discrimination
from plaintiff Pamela Collins, a current Walmart employee in
Ennis, Texas, has no such colorful language.  Although she came to
Walmart with 18 years of retail experience, and despite strong
performance reviews, MS. Collins alleges she was passed over for
multiple promotions, including once for a much younger male
colleague with almost no experience.  Ms. Collins said she
repeatedly called her regional and district managers, leaving
messages about her interest in a promotion, but neither manager
ever returned her phone calls.

The suit charges ongoing, widespread denial of promotions and
equal pay to female employees throughout Texas, and cites many
specific examples, such as one employee who says she confronted a
district manager back in 2003, (after Betty Dukes filed her
initial complaint) when she learned that a less experienced male
colleague was earning more.  The manager told her, "That's just
the way it is.  Men always get paid more."

Another employee was told that there "were already enough female
assistant managers, so she would just be made a deli lead," while
store managers in Houston and Abilene allegedly justified paying
less to female employees on the grounds that the male employees
"had families to support," according to the suit.  When an
employee at the Abilene store complained, her manager reportedly
told her she should be "happy with the money she made."

Last week, Walmart filed a motion to dismiss the California suit,
heavily quoting from the Supreme Court's ruling to argue that the
plaintiffs still lack enough in common to be considered a class.
The Supreme Court ultimately sided with Walmart back in June,
ruling as such because the women worked in so many different
places and under so many different managers, all of whom have
discretion to make decisions regarding pay and promotions.

"Respondents wish to sue for millions of employment decisions at
once," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the lead opinion for the
court in the 5-4 decision last June.  "Without some glue holding
together the alleged reasons for those decisions, it will be
impossible to say that examination of all the class members'
claims will produce a common answer to the crucial discrimination

The same holds true, Walmart argues, in Texas and California.  The
plaintiffs' lawyers say that these new regional suits are in
compliance with the new class action guidelines determined by the
Supreme Court last summer, and that they have the evidence to
prove there is enough connecting each woman's claims to certify
them as a class.  But legal experts think that courts will be
likely to side with Walmart after the Supreme Court's precedent.

Brian Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University who
specializes in class actions and just taught a class on Dukes v.
Wal-Mart, thinks that the regional class actions are likely to
fail for the same reason the nationwide one did: Women at
different stores had different managers who made decisions for
different reasons.

"Nothing is crystal clear," Mr. Fitzpatrick said, "but if I were a
betting man I'd say this suit would fail.  It's almost Don

Judge Scalia's opinion, Mr. Fitzpatrick said, essentially means
that a region like Texas is still too large.  Because of the way
that Walmart is structured, the suits may need to be filed on a
much smaller scale: manager by manager.

Hal Gillespie, the co-lead counsel on the Texas case, is feeling
more optimistic.  The court in Texas where the suit is filed is in
a conspicuously conservative district that has long-viewed class
action discrimination suits unfavorably.  In Mr. Gillespie's mind,
the court's ruling actually paved the way for certain class action
suits, so long as they followed the outlines laid out by the
Supreme Court.

"I think the Supreme Court decision helps by saying that class
actions are permitted under certain circumstances," Mr. Gillespie
said.  "It gives us guidelines and we absolutely have to follow
those guidelines but that's fine, that's what we have to do all
the time."

But Mr. Sellers, another co-lead counsel on the Texas case,
acknowledges that the court's ruling was a major blow.

"It's more difficult and expensive and time consuming," Mr.
Sellers said.  "It's going to consume a lot of resources of the
legal system to litigate these cases."

Class-action suits were previously the best tool a worker had to
fight discrimination at work.  While individual suits are
expensive and can be exceedingly difficult to prove, a class-
action vehicle allowed workers to band together to fight the
corporate powers that be.  If the courts continue to rule in
Walmart's favor, it will be a significant blow to working-class
Americans, legal experts say.

"As you make it more difficult for people to win in larger groups
and require them to file suits based on smaller ones, economically
it becomes unfeasible for some people to make their way to court
at all," said Ralph Richard Banks, a professor at Stanford Law
School who specializes in employment discrimination law.
Ultimately, Mr. Banks said, this means that, regardless of the
merits, "cases go away."

Mr. Sellers can be reached at:

          Joseph M. Sellers, Esq.
          1100 New York Ave NW
          Suite 500 West
          Washington, DC 20005
          Telephone: (202) 408-4600
          E-mail: jsellers@cohenmilstein.com

WILLIS OF ILLINOIS: Misrepresents Sale of Insurance, Suit Says
Joseph Spivak, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated and aggrieved persons v. Willis of Illinois, Inc., an
Illinois corporation and PS Illinois Trust, Case No. 2012-CH-02402
(Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., January 24, 2012) alleges that the
Defendants, in violation of the Insurance Code, misrepresent facts
regarding the sale of insurance to renters of their self-storage

The Plaintiff relied upon the Defendants' misrepresentations in
electing to purchase storage insurance from them, according to the
lawsuit.  Mr. Spivak contends that he would not have done so had
he known that it was not required and that it was duplicative of
other coverage that he had.  He believes that other renters of
self-storage units, who have purchased storage insurance from the
Defendants, have similarly relied upon defendants'
misrepresentations to similar effect.

Willis is an Illinois corporation having its principal place of
business and doing business in the County of Cook, state of
Illinois.  PS is an entity doing business in the County of Cook
and state of Illinois.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Hall Adams, Esq.
          33 N. Dearborn St., Suite 2350
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 445 4900
          Facsimile: (312) 445 4901
          E-mail: hall@adamslegal.net

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Drug Gets "Orphan Drug" Status
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Even though thousands have died from asbestos cancer and diseases,
it is still a relatively unknown disease with no cure and often
minimally effective treatments.  The standard treatment for
mesothelioma is usually a combination of surgery (if possible),
chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  The most common chemotherapy
drugs used to treat mesothelioma are cisplatin and pemetrexed.
Even these drugs, however, have shown little effectiveness in
slowing the progression of disease or increasing survival times.

That's why Clapper Patti Schweizer Mason (CPSM), an asbestos law
firm based in California, is excited to announce a new drug,
CBP501, shown to improve effectiveness of treatment for
mesothelioma, was just awarded "Orphan Drug" status by the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA).  CBP501, produced by a Japanese
biopharmaceutical company, CanBas Co., Ltd., is a novel drug that
enhances the anti-cancer cytotoxic activity when used with
traditional chemotherapy combinations commonly used to treat
mesothelioma.  In more simple terms, CBP501 has been shown to
increase mesothelioma cancer cell death by blocking the ability of
cancer cells to transition completely through the cell cycle,
thereby slowing the progression of the disease.

CanBas is a drug development biotech company devoted to developing
more effective pharmaceuticals and therapies that improve efficacy
of treatments and the overall health of those suffering from rare
diseases.  CanBas has been conducting Phase II Clinical Trials
using CBP501 with mesothelioma patients for several years and were
just granted "orphan drug" designation by the FDA.

According to the FDA, the "Orphan Drug Designation Program
provides orphan status to drugs and biologics which are defined as
those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or
prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than
200,000 people in the U.S . . ."

It is estimated that over 200,000 people will die of mesothelioma
worldwide this year, and about 3000 in the United States alone
will be diagnosed with this terminal and incurable cancer.
Because mesothelioma is considered to be a rare disease -- so rare
and deadly that it is difficult to get enough of a patient sample
to conduct a Phase III clinical trial -- it meets the FDA criteria
for granting CBP501 "orphan drug" status.

By receiving this new designation, CanBas will be given tax
reductions and also exclusive rights to CBP501 as a mesothelioma
treatment for a period of up to seven years post-approval.  The
new status allows them to continue research and hopefully one day
discover a cure for mesothelioma.

After reading the results from trials conducted so far, CPSM is
hopeful that CBP501 can increase the effectiveness of mesothelioma
treatments and extend both survival times and quality of life for
their clients coping with mesothelioma.  For more information on
treatments or to speak with an experienced mesothelioma attorney
about how to get financial help to pay for treatments, visit our
website or call today: 1-800-440-4262.

                        About CPSM

For more than 30 years, Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason has
represented clients from all over the nation and won multimillion
dollar verdicts on their and their family's behalf.  CPSM offers
the highest quality of service and care to their clients,
understanding how heartbreaking and challenging it is to cope with
a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Kin of Asbestos Cleaner Talk About Exposure
Fred Attewill of Metro News (UK) reports that the children of an
asbestos cleaner, who died from cancer in 1968, have told how they
are suffering from irreversible lung damage after coming into
contact with dust from their father's work.

When Korah Leah came home from his job clearing asbestos his
children would fling their arms around him the minute he arrived.

As a worker in the 1930s he had no idea he was putting their lives
at risk when he hugged the youngsters in his dust-caked overalls.

But now, long after his death from cancer in 1968, two of his
children have died from asbestos-related illnesses and a further
six have irreversible lung damage.

"It's a terrible thing to happen to one family," said Maureen
McGeogh who lost sisters Marjorie, 67, and Cecelia, 77, within six
months of each other.

She said her father would be 'covered in dust' when he came home
from work as a foreman in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

"We'd all crawl all over him and hug him. I remember my mother
shaking his overalls and dust going everywhere.  We didn't realize
it was dangerous," added Mrs. McGeogh, 73, of Luddenden, West

Her only two siblings not affected by pleural plaques -- which can
develop into malignant mesothelioma -- were born after their
father left Cape Asbestos in 1958.

The family has been denied compensation for years as none of them
worked directly with asbestos.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Wash. Contractor Denies Health Code Violations
Pat Guth of The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that the
State of Washington has announced that it will fine a Wenatchee-
area contractor who they claim "should have known better" when it
committed more than a dozen violations while removing asbestos at
a local youth center.

According to an article in The Wenatchee World, officials claim
that Evergreen Asbestos Solutions failed to adhere to state
regulations regarding the removal of asbestos, a known carcinogen
that can wreak havoc with human lungs if inhaled, causing
mesothelioma cancer and other serious lung diseases.

The state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) alleged 14
violations by the company and its owner, Ron Hesselschart, who
responded with a statement expressing his belief that there was no
danger present for anyone who was in or near the facility, which
is known as Solomon's Porch.  The work took place last May.

However, L&I spokesperson Hector Castro told the media that his
agency is concerned for the health of the workers who carried out
the asbestos removal tasks but is uncertain if there was any
danger to non-workers or anyone who was in or near the building
just after the asbestos was abated.

A report noted a long list of violations for Evergreen Asbestos
including failure to ensure that exposure assessment was performed
both immediately before and immediately after the abatement,
failure to appoint a competent person to supervise the work,
failure to perform clearance monitoring at the completion of the
work, and failure to ensure that all surfaces were maintained as
free of dusts and waste-containing asbestos.

In addition, it was noted that employees performing the work were
not wearing protective equipment or clothing and that beards and
goatees were not covered by the half face masks that were
distributed to these workers, potentially allowing asbestos dust
to settle in facial hair.

The Cashmere, Washington-based company currently faces a $25,000
fine but Hesselschart, who claims that none of the violations
occurred, is appealing the accusations.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Knowledge of Toxic Dangers Existed in 1920
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center relates that new report
shines light on Navy's knowledge of asbestos dangers.

The U.S. Navy required asbestos and asbestos-containing materials
be used to build its ships despite understanding some of the
health hazards associated with asbestos exposure, a recent
research report concludes.

The report "Government and Navy Knowledge Regarding Health Hazards
of Asbestos: A State of The Science Evaluation (1900 To 1970)" was
created by ChemRisk, a San Francisco-based chemical risk
assessment company.  Published in December, it highlights the
Navy's knowledge and actions regarding asbestos, a well-documented

Some believe that this research may provide more insight into why
veterans account for as much as one-third of all patients who
suffer from mesothelioma, a disease associated with asbestos

Analysis of the Navy's knowledge and actions involving asbestos
was divided into three time periods: 1900-1929, 1930-1959, and
1960-1970.  The report uncovered that the unique properties and
functions of asbestos made it attractive and preferred by the
Navy, especially during times of war and rapid military expansion.

The toxic material has been known to be a great insulator and to
be heat resistant, both chemical characteristics that can be
beneficial on a Navy ship.

In the document, the researchers stated that "because of the
economic importance of asbestos, and its perceived vital role in
the war effort, the regulated community and the military held a
broad belief that overly restrictive work standards should not be
applied to this material."

The researchers' discoveries demonstrate that evidence existed in
the early-to-mid 1900s in the medical community that proved
connections between asbestos and resulting diseases.  The report
noted that in 1935, a textbook explicitly documented the fact that
"sufficient exposure to dust of asbestos in any stage of its
processing may cause asbestosis."

Whether the Navy knew this same information at the time is unsure.
One thing that is apparent, according to the report, is that four
years later, the Navy recommended that controls be put in place
when handling asbestos, indicating an understanding of the
potential dangers that asbestos may pose.

Even earlier than that, the authors of the document cite that the
toxic mineral was being associated with diseases as far back as
1907.  During this time, lung disease was initially being
correlated with asbestos exposure, with supporting articles being
published in the 1920s.  However, because of the presence of
complicating diseases like tuberculosis, medical experts were
unable to conclusively determine the causes of some cancers.

The report states that the Navy continued to mandate that
asbestos-containing materials be used on their ships between 1960
and 1970, even as mesothelioma was clearly being linked to
asbestos exposure.  At the same time, the branch was also
recommending that all necessary precautions be performed anytime
the toxic material was being handled.

Most notably, the report makes a statement that insists that this
military branch understood more about asbestos than some would

"We concluded that the Navy was arguably one of the most
knowledgeable organizations in the world regarding the health
hazards of asbestos, and that it attempted to implement procedures
that would minimize the opportunity for adverse effects on both
servicemen and civilians."

Furthermore, the document states that "through at least 1970,
neither the military nor the private sector believed that the
myriad of asbestos-containing products considered 'encapsulated'
(e.g. gaskets, brakes, Bakelite) posed a health hazard to those
working with them."

Such an assertion may not be comforting enough to those affected
by the toxic material.  This may be just the beginning stages of
the discussion as to what the Navy knew and didn't know and
whether its actions were in good faith or not.  One thing that is
certain is the necessity for help for those who have been exposed
to asbestos or similar toxins.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Remediation Costs of PA Plant May Top $1.1MM
The Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center reports that clean-
up and demolition at a suburban Philadelphia asbestos insulation
and paper plant is expected to be completed by summer, making way
for a new sewage treatment plant in the city of Norristown,
Montgomery County, Pa.

According to an article in the Times Herald, the former Nicolet
property on Washington Street, owned by the Montgomery County
Redevelopment Authority (MCRA), will cost the city more than $1.1
million for asbestos abatement and demolition.  The property was
originally purchased in 2001 as a potential Brownfield development
site.  The developer, O'Neill Properties, paid $55,000 for the
site, on which they had intended to build multistory apartment
complexes.  The county purchased the site from O'Neill last year
with the hopes of instead building a new sewage treatment plant to
replace an old one that frequently experiences sewage overflows.

However, due to the nature of Nicolet's manufacturing business,
the site at 500 and 600 Washington Street is strewn with asbestos,
even though the plant has been dormant for quite some time.  There
were remnants of asbestos manufacturing in (underground) tanks and
in the ground," said Jerry Nugent, executive director of the MCRA.
"The asbestos in the 500 (Washington Street) building was in the
pipe wrap or tile flooring or the building facade."

In addition, the article notes, engineers found tanks, tunnels,
trenches, and concrete canals from the days of Nicolet's asbestos
processing and many of those were filled with toxic asbestos

A second phase of the clean-up will involve drilling holes
throughout the site to see if any ground contamination is present.
If so, additional remediation work may be required and will most
likely involve the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection.  "It has turned out to be a huge job," Nugent said.

The Nicolet site has long been a concern for those who live and
work in the area, which is located southwest of Philadelphia.  The
community has long feared the potential of both air and ground
contamination caused by the large amounts of asbestos left on the
property.  Asbestos exposure can cause myriad lung-related
diseases including pleural mesothelioma and other cancers.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cloverleaf Mall Abatement to Complete in February
Shelby Brown at CBS 6 News reports Extensive asbestos abatement is
causing some delays in the demolition of the old Cloverleaf Mall
in Chesterfield.

In fact, half of the building is still standing.

However, developers told CBS 6 News' Shelby Brown that the
demolition is on schedule, but that the abatement is taking longer
than expected.

A representative from Crosland Southeast said all of the asbestos
must be removed before the building can be torn down.

A spokesperson said crews knew they would have to deal with some
asbestos, but that there is much more of the substance in the
building's west wing, which housed the old J.C. Penny store, than
they anticipated.

Once the rest of the abatement is completed by mid-February, the
final part of the mall is slated to be torn down by mid to late

Crews are also recycling as much concrete, brick and block from
the building as possible using a special crushing area behind the
old mall.

Workers separate the steel and concrete, which is crushed into a
gravel-like material.  That will later be used as a street base
when crews construct the roads at the site.

"I kind of thought it would be torn down by now," said Renata
Edler.  "But, I guess in the process of development, things take a
little while.  I understand that."

Edler, a faithful shopper at Cloverleaf Mall, said she will always
have great memories of the mall, but is excited about what's to

A new, 123,000-square-foot Kroger anchor store will soon go up in
the area of the mall that has already been demolished.  That store
is expected to open in late 2012.

The Stonebridge project will be a mixed use, retail, office and
residential development.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contaminants Delay Work at Idaho College Campus
Julie Wootton at Magicvalley.com reports that when students
returned to the College of Southern Idaho campus for the first day
of the new semester Tuesday, Jan. 17, they were greeted by the
familiar sight of construction.

An addition to the Fine Arts Center was originally slated for
completion before the new semester began.  But delays occurred
after asbestos was found under floor tiles in the north hallway.

Now, the project will wrap in February.  In the meantime, faculty
and students are working around the construction.

"It will be nice when it gets done," said Brent Jensen, assistant
professor of music, although his jazz history classes haven't been

Some classes, though, have been shuffled to new locations since
two of the main classroom spaces in the building aren't yet

"We're just juggling a bit," Fine Arts Department Chairman Chris
Bragg said.

New features of the building are scheduled to open Feb. 6, while
remodeled areas will open Feb. 24.

The 7,500-square-foot addition has a $2.88 million price tag.  The
majority -- about $2 million -- came from an anonymous donation to
the CSI Foundation.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Midway's $47,000 Bid Wins Streator Abatement Job
Mywebtimes.com reports that asbestos-laced property at Oakland
Park and Sherman Schools in Streator will be removed in June.

The Streator Elementary District 44 board approved on Jan. 17 a
bid of $47,000 from Midway Contracting Group, LLC, of Tinley Park.
The district will pay for the project out of health life-safety

Asbestos removal will take place in the boiler room at Oakland
Park and the floor tile, mastic, and one-quarter-inch underlayment
from the gym and cafeteria at Sherman School.  The removal of the
asbestos in these two locations should eliminate any future
asbestos disruptions in these locations.

Substantial completion of the project is expected by July.
Following the removal of the asbestos, different contractors will
reinstall Sherman floor tile and lining/logo by July and
reinsulate the Oakland Park boiler by mid-July.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement of 2 Albuquerque Sites to Finish in Feb
The Associated Press reports that removal of asbestos-contaminated
soil has begun at two Albuquerque (N.M.) sites where insulating
materials were manufactured from the 1960s through the 1980s.

The Albuquerque Journal reports -- http://bit.ly/xBeVg5-- that
both sites received and processed tons of asbestos-tainted
vermiculite, a mineral used in insulation, fireproofing materials
and potting soil.

Crews on Jan. 17 began removing the first of up to 5,000 cubic
yards of soil from the former Silico Inc. plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency says work began on Jan. 14 at
a smaller site where contractors must remove an estimated 1,000
cubic yards of soil from the yard of an occupied home and two
vacant houses.

That site is the former location of the Southwest Vermiculite Co.

Both removal projects are expected to be completed next month.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Plaintiffs May "Forum-Shop" Cases to Other States
Ted Frank of PointofLaw.com reports that in the mid-1960s, Lt.
Patrick O'Neil served on the USS Oriskany, a 1940s-era aircraft
carrier.  O'Neil's work in the boiler-room exposed him to asbestos
insulation manufactured by Johns Manville, and, decades later, he
contracted mesothelioma.

O'Neil isn't allowed to sue the Navy; Johns Manville is bankrupt
from previous asbestos litigation.  So O'Neil sued innocent third
parties that happened to sell products to the Navy that didn't
contain asbestos on the theory that they should have warned users
about the risks of asbestos from other products that might be used
in conjunction with their harmless products.

O'Neil also sued a company that sold a part in 1943 that did
contain asbestos (pursuant to Navy requirements), but whose
asbestos components had been replaced by the time O'Neil
encountered them.

Fortunately, in O'Neil v. Crane, the California Supreme Court
unanimously rejected this attempt to expand tort law beyond all
moorings.  When "the consequences of a negligent act must be
limited to avoid an intolerable burden on society, policy
considerations may dictate a cause of action should not be
sanctioned no matter how foreseeable the risk."

Unfortunately, in the absence of federal law on the subject, this
means that future plaintiffs are simply going to forum-shop their
asbestos litigation to other states that have not so dispositively
rejected such expansive theories, so innocent manufacturers who
happened to sell products to the Navy are not going to be off the
hook yet.

But good precedent is good precedent, and it's important that the
California Supreme Court is willing to acknowledge that the fact
that there are some injured plaintiffs who don't have recovery
does not require courts to invent theories to permit collection
from distant defendants.  And as Beck points out, the decision has
consequences for intermediate California courts that have held
that pharmaceutical manufacturers can be held liable for the sales
of similar products by generic manufacturers.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Dechert LLP Lawyer Further Justifies SC Tort Rule
Sean Wajert of Dechert LLP relates that the California Supreme
Court has held on Jan. 12, that the law does not impose liability
on manufacturers of equipment used in conjunction with asbestos-
containing parts made by others.  See O'Neil v. Crane Co., Cal.,
No. S177401 (Cal. 1/12/12).

The Restatement of Torts (Third): Products Liability says that in
the context of a final, finished product that injures a user and
which is made up of components from different manufacturers, if a
given component is itself defective and the defect causes the
harm, then the supplier of that component is of course liable.  In
addition, the supplier can be liable even if the component by
itself is not defective, but only if the seller substantially
participates in the integration of the component into the design
of the product (and the defect causes the harm).

In essence, the doctrine holds that an entity supplying a non-
defective raw material or a non-defective component part is not
strictly liable for defects in the final product over which it had
no control.  In this respect, the Third Restatement of Torts
simply codified the doctrine of various states' common law.

Nevertheless, a split had existed among the lower courts in
California about whether to extend liability for asbestos-related
disease beyond the manufacturers of the asbestos insulation,
gaskets, and packing to which many ship workers were exposed (and
which makers are now bankrupt) to the makers of the products the
asbestos was used with (to find a solvent target).  So the state
supreme court confronted the limits of a manufacturer's duty to
prevent foreseeable harm related to its product: When is a product
manufacturer liable for injuries caused by adjacent products or
replacement parts that were made by others and used in conjunction
with the defendant's product?  It held that a product manufacturer
may not be held liable in strict liability or negligence for harm
caused by another manufacturer's product unless the defendant's
own product contributed substantially to the harm, or the
defendant participated substantially in creating a harmful
combined use of the products.

Defendants made valves and pumps used in Navy warships.  They were
sued here for a wrongful death allegedly caused by asbestos
released from external insulation and internal gaskets and
packing, all of which were made by third parties and added to the
pumps and valves post-sale.  It is undisputed that defendants
never manufactured or sold any of the asbestos-containing
materials to which plaintiffs' decedent was exposed.  That is, no
evidence was presented that any of the asbestos-containing dust
came from a product made by defendants.  Neither company
manufactured or sold the external insulation or flange gaskets
that the repairmen like plaintiff removed.  Although the valves
and pumps contained internal asbestos-containing gaskets and
packing, these original components had been replaced long before
plaintiff encountered them years later.  There was no evidence
that any of these replacement parts were made by defendants.

The Court of Appeal asserted defendants' products were defectively
designed "because they required asbestos packing and insulation."
But this factual assertion was unsupported by the record.  The
evidence established that the requirement for asbestos derived
from military specifications, not from any inherent aspect of
defendants' pump and valve designs.  Nevertheless, plaintiff
claimed that defendants should be held strictly liable and found
negligent because it was foreseeable that workers would be exposed
to and harmed by the asbestos in replacement parts and products
used in conjunction with their pumps and valves.

The Court of Appeals held that the component parts defense applied
only to manufacturers of "multi-use or fungible products" designed
to be altered and incorporated into another product.  It then
concluded defendants' products did not meet these requirements.
The Court of Appeal also rejected defendants' argument that they
could not be found strictly liable because they did not
manufacture or supply the asbestos-containing products that caused
plaintiffs' disease.

The lower court announced a broad definition of strict products
liability: a manufacturer is liable in strict liability for the
dangerous components of its products, and for dangerous products
with which its product will necessarily be used.  Even though it
was replacement gaskets and packing that allegedly caused disease,
the lower appeals court concluded these replacement parts were "no
different" from the asbestos-containing components originally
included in defendants' products.  Plaintiff's claims would
represent an unprecedented expansion of strict products liability,
which the supreme court declined to do.  California law, like most
states, has long provided that manufacturers, distributors, and
retailers have a duty to see to the safety of their products, and
will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a defect in
their products.  Yet, the state has never held that these
responsibilities extend to preventing injuries caused by other
products that might foreseeably be used in conjunction with a
defendant's product.  Nor has the state's high court ever held
that manufacturers must warn about potential hazards in
replacement parts made by others when, as here, the dangerous
feature of these parts was not integral to the product's design.

From the outset, strict products liability in California has
always been premised on harm caused by deficiencies in the
defendant's own product.  The reach of strict liability is not
limitless; strict liability does not extend to harm from entirely
distinct products that the consumer can be expected to use with,
or in, the defendant's non-defective product.  Instead, the courts
require proof that the plaintiff suffered injury caused by a
defect in the defendant's own product.

In this case, it was undisputed that plaintiff was exposed to no
asbestos from a product made by the defendants.  Although he was
allegedly exposed to potentially high levels of asbestos dust
released from insulation the Navy had applied to the exterior of
the pumps and valves, defendants did not manufacture or sell this
external insulation.  They did not mandate or advise that it be
used with their products.  It is fundamental that the imposition
of liability requires a showing that the plaintiff's injuries were
caused by an act of the defendant or an instrumentality under the
defendant's control.

Generally speaking, manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers
about the hazards inherent in their products.  The requirement's
purpose is to inform consumers about a product's hazards and
faults of which they are unaware, so that they can refrain from
using the product altogether or evade the danger by careful use.
Typically, under California law, manufacturers are strictly liable
for injuries caused by their failure to warn of dangers that were
known to the scientific community at the time they manufactured
and distributed their product.  The supreme court has never held
that a manufacturer's duty to warn extends to hazards arising
exclusively from other manufacturers' products.

Plaintiff's alleged exposure to asbestos came from replacement
gaskets and packing and external insulation added to defendants'
products long after their installation; there was no dispute that
these external and replacement products were made by other
manufacturers.  So the supreme court reaffirmed that a product
manufacturer generally may not be held strictly liable for harm
caused by another manufacturer's product.  The only exceptions to
this rule arise when the defendant bears some direct
responsibility for the harm, either because the defendant's own
product contributed substantially to the harm or because the
defendant participated substantially in creating a harmful
combined use of the products.  Plaintiffs sought to expand these
exceptions to make manufacturers strictly liable when it is
foreseeable that their products will be used in conjunction with
defective products or even replacement parts made or sold by
someone else.

However, the mere foreseeability of harm, standing alone, is not a
sufficient basis for imposing strict liability on the manufacturer
of a non-defective product, or one whose arguably defective
product does not actually cause harm.

The decision was supported by common sense.  A manufacturer cannot
be expected to exert pressure on other manufacturers to make their
products safe and is not able to share the costs of ensuring
product safety with these other manufacturers.  It would be unfair
to require manufacturers of non-defective products to shoulder a
burden of liability when they derived no economic benefit from the
sale of the products that injured the plaintiff.  And a contrary
rule would require manufacturers to investigate the potential
risks of all other products and replacement parts that might
foreseeably be used with their own product and warn about all of
these risks.  Such a duty would impose an excessive and
unrealistic burden on manufacturers.  Such an expanded duty could
also undermine consumer safety by inundating users with excessive
warnings.  "To warn of all potential dangers would warn of

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement On for BART Modernization Project
Michael Cabanatuan of the San Francisco Chronicle's City Insider
reports that hard living takes a toll over the years, and the BART
Powell Street Station has done some pretty hard living in its
nearly 40 years.

Now, as many BART riders have noticed, it's getting a much-
deserved face-lift.

Work actually started way back in April, but until recently it was
mostly in the less-used east end of the station.  In the past
couple of weeks, the action has moved to the busy west end near
Hallidie Plaza and the older Westfield mall entrance.  And it's
impossible to overlook.

Scaffolding, temporary walls and sheets of plastic and plywood
have been erected, a bunch of fare gates have been closed, and a
maze has been created to and from the escalators to the platform.

A few small flyers were posted near the ticket machines last week,
explaining the construction as an asbestos removal project, but
most of them have disappeared.

And they only tell part of the story.  Work crews are indeed
removing asbestos from the ceilings and walls of the station -
and, yes, they're taking the proper safety precautions -- but
that's just a small part of the station modernization project.

BART is removing the ceiling tiles and the sound baffles that hang
from the ceilings and over the staircases and escalators.  In
addition to replacing the fire-proofing material on structural
steel beams that contains some asbestos, crews are also repairing
leaks that have developed over the years, said spokeswoman Luna

They're also knocking out some walls to improve circulation in the
sprawling station, and giving the whole place a detailed cleaning.
The station will also get new signs on the platform, concourse and
street levels.

The work will continue until September.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Proposed Mesothelioma Fund Still on U.K. Agenda
Sara Hunt of Access Legal from Shoosmiths (UK) reports that
following a 2010 Government consultation, it was found that
thousands of asbestos sufferers weren't able to claim compensation
because insurers of the companies where they'd worked could not be

Although it's now nearly two years after the report, the
Government has confirmed that a fund for asbestos sufferers is
still on the agenda, and it is understood that Department for Work
and Pensions minister Lord Freud is in negotiations with the
insurance industry.

Access Legal from Shoosmiths submitted a reply to the 2010
consultation supporting the introduction of an Employer's
Liability Insurance Bureau (ELIB) that would be funded by the
insurance industry.

As asbestos related illnesses can take many years to develop;
sometimes up to 50 years after the exposure.

When a sufferer comes to claim, the company they worked for at the
time of exposure has frequently ceased to exist, records have been
lost, and it's difficult to find the company's insurer.

With more than 2,000 people a year dying from mesothelioma -- an
asbestos related cancer -- it's important that victims aren't
denied the right to claim compensation because an insurer can't be
found to pay out on the claim.

The proposed ELIB would operate in a very similar way to the Motor
Insurance Bureau, which ensures that victims of road traffic
accidents are compensated where the driver at fault is uninsured.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol Water Says No Pollution Has Taken Place
Weston and Somerset Mercury reports that asbestos could be dumped
near a major water supply for North Somerset if plans to fill a
quarry with hazardous waste are approved.  Stowey Quarry, a few
miles from Blagdon, could be filled with up to 645,000 tons of
hazardous waste which residents fear could leach into nearby Chew
Valley Lake, which supplies North Somerset and Bristol with
millions of liters of drinking water per year.

Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) granted planning
permission to Oaktree Environmental for the plans in July but
following the threat of a judicial review and a wave of protests,
later reversed its decision on the grounds it did not advertise it
properly.  The change of heart was formally ratified by the High
Court in December but BANES has said it will re-advertise the
application soon.  Residents will then have the chance to respond
to the proposals.

Protesting group Stop Stowey Quarry is now gearing up for a fresh
wave of opposition.  Campaigner Lucy Pover said: "There will be
lorry loads of asbestos being taken through the area every day.
It only takes one accident to release it into the air.  "The site
of the quarry is only 1,500 meters from the lake.  It just doesn't
seem to make sense to have tons of hazardous waste dumped there."

Last year, more than 1,800 signatures were collected against the
proposals.  A spokesman for Bristol Water said of the original
plans: "We consider proposals to develop a large scale waste
facility close to a major water supply, special protection area
and site of special scientific interest, are inappropriate.

"However, we would like to reassure customers that no pollution of
any kind has actually taken place.

"We monitor the quality of the raw untreated water in the lake and
through every stage of the treatment process which follows."

The water supplier said that it will respond to any concerns
raised if the plans are re-advertised.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Weber Aims to Reform Rules in Favor of Defendants
Ann Maher of The Madison/St. Clair Record reports that state
representative candidate Don Weber of Troy said he would introduce
legislation to overturn local judicial rules that are unfair to
defendants in asbestos lawsuits.

One of the reforms he outlined in a release would make judges
disclose to non-settling defendants before trial how much has
already been paid to an asbestos plaintiff.

Weber, who is running in the Republican primary against incumbent
Paul Evans of O'Fallon and Charlie Meier of Okawville in the 108th
House District, said this would amend the Illinois Contribution
Among Joint Tortfeasors Act.

Weber said the act already provides that a defendant who doesn't
settle a case is entitled to credit for any defendant who paid
money to a plaintiff prior to trial.

"While such disclosures are common in nearly every other county,
the Madison County judges, with the help of plaintiffs' attorneys
who generally have contributed generously to a judge's campaign
war chest, have written their own unfair rules for asbestos
cases," Weber said in a statement.

"These local rules often trump state statutes and case law in
Madison County," he said.

Weber is a former Madison County State's Attorney and a former
appointed Circuit Judge who lost his election bid in 2006 to
Circuit Dave Hylla, a Democrat.
Weber said he would also introduce legislation that would clarify
what evidence is admissible in the defense of a mesothelioma

Weber said that defendants in Madison County are routinely
prohibited from showing that another party is mainly responsible
for a plaintiff's injury.

"This prohibition is contrary to Illinois law but is accomplished
by rules relating to discovery and local third-party practice
rules adopted by the judges after the plaintiff's lawyers
approved," Weber said.

He said local rules limit evidence in a case where, for example, a
plaintiff may have worked around asbestos every day for over 20
years at his main place of employment, but changed the brakes on
his car once at home with an asbestos-containing brake pad.

"Even though the plaintiff's main employer may have already paid
millions to a plaintiff, the remaining brake-pad defendant is
usually prohibited from showing that evidence to a jury," Weber

"I trust juries.  I think they are entitled to know such highly
relevant facts."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Smith Pleads Guilty Sentenced to 5 Years in Jail
The Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center reports that a
roofing contractor in Central Louisiana pleaded guilty to two
counts of illegally disposing of hazardous waste materials by
burning them, including asbestos shingles he removed from
renovation jobs his company had completed.

According to an article in The Town Talk, Walter Monroe Smith, who
is the owner of Rapides Roofing and Home Repair, ordered his
employees to burn asbestos-containing roofing shingles at a
property he owns in Deville, La.  This particular incident
occurred in 2009, notes a news release by the Louisiana Department
of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

After being charged in the 2009 incident, however, Smith proceeded
to do the same thing less than a year later, instructing employees
to burn not only additional asbestos roof shingles but also tire
rims, plastic products, and other hazardous solid waste.  This was
done at the same location in Deville, notes the DEQ report.  After
this particular incident, Smith was arrested and charged with
illegally disposing of toxic waste, a violation of the federal
Clean Air Act.

In the week ended Jan. 20, in the 9th Judicial District Court of
Louisiana, Smith's guilty plea was accepted and he was sentenced
to five years of hard labor in prison -- which was suspended --
and three years probation.  He must also pay a fine of $3,000;
$2000 to the DEQ for the cost of the investigation and $1000 to
the DA's office to cover court costs.  He was also ordered to
publish a public apology in the local newspaper.

"There are a few business owners in the state who choose to skirt
environmental and health laws by disposing of waste in an illegal
and improper fashion," stated Peggy Hatch, secretary of the DEQ.
"DEQ's mission is to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone
found to be in violation of the very laws that have been put in
place to protect human life and the environment."

Due to Smith's actions, there is considerable concern that his
employees as well as others who live in the area of his Deville
property may have been exposed to asbestos dust and may have
inhaled sharp asbestos fibers, which can lead to the formation of
cancerous tumors and a diagnosis of the disease known as
mesothelioma.  Because mesothelioma has a long latency period,
those exposed may not detect symptoms for decades but should
regularly monitor the health of their lungs in order to detect any

ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Found Hazards Add $300,000 to Abatement Cost
Pat Guth of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance reports that the
demolition of two long-vacant structures on land that surrounds
Oshkosh, Wisconsin's Park View Health Center is turning into an
expensive ordeal as crews continue to find much more asbestos than
they initially believed was present in the old buildings.

According to an article in the Oshkosh Northwestern, asbestos
surveys were completed on the buildings before demolition work
begun, with surveyors identifying about 11,000 total square feet
of asbestos.  However, the company razing the structures - Veit
and Company Salvage of New Berlin, Wis.,- told officials of
Winnebago County that the buildings have been "full of surprises."
Among the surprises has been previously-undiscovered asbestos
floor adhesive and asbestos pipe insulation, both products
commonly used in structures built prior to about 1977.

Winnebago County, which owns the buildings, notes that they have
no choice but to continue to tear down the already half-demolished
structures.  Hence, they are going to have to deal with additional
costs of more than $300,000 and another 3 or 4 weeks of work.
Because the building can't be razed with asbestos inside, the
demolition work will be start and stop until it's determined that
all of the toxic materials have been removed.

The two buildings are being torn down to enhance the view of the
individuals who live at adjacent Park View Health Center, a
county-owned nursing facility.  The five-story Rehabilitation
Pavilion and the three-story Pleasant Acres building haven't been
in use for years and were already in deplorable condition before
demolition work began, prompting concerns about the release of
toxins such as airborne asbestos, which can be extremely hazardous
if inhaled, causing diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Intake Firms, Pre-Assigned Trial Slots Explained
Miles Bardell at Legal Newsline relates that as a clearinghouse
for massive numbers of asbestos lawsuits from all over the
country, Madison County is a prime example of a highly successful
processing center.

Local judicial rules, demographics, and enterprising asbestos
attorneys have built the docket over time.  But the most critical
ingredient for Madison County's status today as a fast settlement
litigation hub: trial dates.

How lucrative are cases in the nation's busiest state court
asbestos docket where most claimants are from out of state?

According to several lawyers familiar with Madison County's
asbestos docket, mesothelioma settlements range from $1.5 million
to $5 million per case.

Legal observers say that "intake" firms spend handsomely on
television, radio, Internet and print advertising to gather
valuable mesothelioma cases which are then brokered to plaintiff's
counsel in a processing jurisdiction where the most value can be

The brokering process includes negotiation over the volume of
cases that can be handled, how quickly a case can be turned
around, and of course dollars that the case will settle for.

As evidenced by an increasing number of trial dates and new case
filings over the past few years in Madison County, this Illinois
venue is very competitive on each metric.

"For me, the big issue is all the mesothelioma advertisings -
obviously we have a national mesothelioma litigation market, with
a lot of people who are trying to pull in the cases," said Kirk
Hartley of the GlobalTort blog.

Mark Behrens, a leading voice on mass tort litigation, said in a
telephone interview that some firms have no interest in actually
litigating cases.

"There are some firms I have heard of that advertise on TV that
don't ever handle the case," Behrens said.  "They are just out
there mining for cases to broker and sell to somebody
else...intake firms," he said.

The Sokolove law firm, a national firm that advertises heavily for
mesothelioma cases, is an intake firm.  At the bottom of its
homepage, a disclaimer states: ". . .[M]ost cases are referred to
other attorneys for principal responsibility (sic)."

Behrens made clear that not all law firms that refer cases to
local counsel in Madison County are simply mining cases.

"Some of them are legitimate firms that handle asbestos cases and
they may not have the expertise to take on a certain case, or they
may know that there are higher values for that case if it is in
Madison County," Behrens said.

On the other hand, Behrens identified problems that are inherent
to the intake firm model.

"I think that it is deceptive to consumers," Behrens said. "When
[people with mesothelioma] go to a lawyer they are looking for
someone who is going to help them on their problem.  I think most
people would be shocked to find that when they hire a lawyer they
are actually just hiring a brokerage firm, essentially."

Legal Newsline reached out to several national law firms who
advertise to represent mesothelioma victims, but none responded to
comment for this story.

Nationwide, a handful of jurisdictions have become magnets for
asbestos litigation.  These processing centers handle a vast
majority of all asbestos litigation in the nation.  Whether they
develop because of intentional judicial policies, demographics
favorable to plaintiffs, or other factors, once a jurisdiction
creates a name for itself in the asbestos litigation market the
cases keep pouring in.

"[I]f you look around the country, what you see is the major
processing locations are Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland
in California; New York; to some lesser degree Delaware;
Philadelphia; and Illinois. . .," Hartley said.

Another legal observer believes that Madison County's "asbestos
market" was preceded by its reputation for class action

"In sum, my analysis is that first the class actions came, from
all over the country.  Then came the asbestos," said Lester
Brickman, a professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of
Law in New York and an expert on asbestos litigation.  "[T]here
were billions of dollars in attorney fees created from class
actions certified by Judge (Nicholas) Byron, and I think that is
where some of the push came from that created the current asbestos
market in Madison County.

"[Byron] accommodated the plaintiff's firms in every way possible
. . . He [Byron] basically said 'you all come', and they came."

On top of that, the blue-collar citizenry of Madison County at one
time composed a jury pool that was willing to find for plaintiffs
in suits against large corporations.  With sympathetic jury
members coming from families who worked in the local steel,
manufacturing, and refining industries it soon became clear that
settling cases was highly preferable to taking a chance with a
Madison County jury.

That dynamic has changed over time.  The number of asbestos cases
taken to trial has declined in Madison County over the past few
years -- the last one that went to trial occurred in March 2010
and ended in favor of defendant Ford Motor Co.

Brickman also criticized former asbestos Judge Barbara Crowder for
"welcoming" new asbestos litigation.

"When Crowder stepped in she once again said 'you all come! And be
sure to bring your contributions with you,'" Brickman said.

Crowder was abruptly removed from her post on the asbestos docket
last month after she had accepted $30,000 in campaign
contributions from the top three local asbestos firms within a
week of granting them the vast majority of trial settings for

She has denied violating the judicial code of conduct.

Francis E. McGovern, a professor of law at Duke University Law
School, wrote "Judges who move large numbers of . . . torts
through the litigation process at low transaction costs create the
opportunity for new filings.  They increase the demand for new
cases by their high resolution rates and low transaction costs.
If you build a superhighway, there will be a traffic jam."

While Madison County's procedural gymnastics have prevented a
traffic jam, the superhighway has been built and is bustling with
traffic -- last year the number of new filings reached 953, which
matched the record number of cases filed nearly a decade earlier
in 2003.

Behrens also commented that Madison County's advance trial setting
is unique because it is the only jurisdiction in the country that
has trial settings for cases that don't already exist.

"Because often in litigation it is the setting of a trial that
causes both parties to come to the settlement table," Behrens
said.  "When a case is just hanging out there for a long time
there may not be a lot of pressure to settle.  In Madison County
when you know there is a trial date coming up, that will get the
discussions started."

Intake firms negotiate with local counsel in processing centers to
get the most value they can for the cases they generate.

"My understanding is there is some amount of negotiation that goes
on between the lawyers who have captured the case through internet
ads, union relationships, friend relationships, whatever, and then
it is a negotiation about where is the case best processed, and
with which law firm, given the facts of the case," Hartley said.
"That is the calculus."

Hartley also said that litigating in Madison County is "relatively

"[A]t the end of the day you have a machinery and a framework in
place, capable lawyers, low defense rates because the defense
firms are handling so many cases that it is relatively
economical," Hartley said.

On one side of the process, intake firms work to maximize the
value they can get from cases.  By negotiating with firms in
processing jurisdictions the intake firms may be able to ratchet
up the percentage of the ultimate share they receive.

On the other side, firms in processing jurisdictions market their
ability to provide a good return on each case.

"There has to be a market for mesothelioma cases in Madison County
that is at or above the national average," said a member of the
asbestos defense bar who asked not to be identified.

Hartley said that having trial dates without a case is a clear
advantage for plaintiff firms in Madison County.

"With dozens of trial dates in hand, the Madison County
plaintiff's firms then use the trial dates as part of their pitch
to obtain cases from other plaintiff's firms around the country,"
he wrote on his GlobalTort blog.

According to a member of the asbestos plaintiffs' bar, several
factors are on the table when local firms market their ability to
process cases.  Not only are cases practically guaranteed a trial
date and generally worth more here, the cases are turned around
faster too.

"Volume has a lot to do with it," said the attorney who asked not
to be identified.

"Intake firms cut long term deals with local counsel, so, for
example over two years the local firm will promise to take all the
intake firm's cases -- so now, local counsel may be able to offer
a discounted rate and still get the cases.  Instead of taking 25
cases with 35% of fees routed back to the intake firm, the local
firm may agree to take all the cases, or take 50 cases, and only
pay 25% or less on each case, and it is worth it because the
intake firm has stability and knows the turnaround is a lot faster
in Madison County.

"Their business model runs off of steady volume and certainty, and
Madison County seems to have both of those metrics covered."

One point everyone who commented for this story kept coming back
to was the importance of pre-assigned trial slots to the brokerage

"Having those cases set for trial in advance gives Madison County
plaintiffs' lawyers a big advantage in the marketplace for these
lawsuits -- when they are competing for cases against, say, Texas
or firms from San Francisco, to be able to advertise that they
already have trial settings for these cases really helps those
firms attract business," Behrens said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposed Hazards Put Nursing Home for Abatement
69 News at news@wfmz.com reports that Asbestos testing has turned
up the harmful fibers in several areas of the Gracedale nursing
home building in Northampton County.

Northampton County's director of administration, Tom Harp, said
the Gracedale safety committee requested that the building be
tested for asbestos.

Mr. Harp said there were concerns that some previous work done in
certain areas of the building may have resulted in the exposure of

The tests were done a couple weeks ago, according to Harp, and
some areas did test positive for asbestos.  The main areas with
asbestos were the carpentry shop, maintenance workshop, storage
area and the loading dock.

Harp said some of the areas have been shut down, and none of the
asbestos got airborne, which is when it can cause health problems.

Officials, however, want to get the asbestos cleaned up as soon as
possible to keep it from becoming airborne, said Harp, who noted
that the cleanup could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Discovery Pushes Hazard Check on Old Ferries
The Digby Courier reporter Jonathan Riley reports on
NovaNewsNow.com that the department of transportation (DOT) tied
up the spare ferry for the Digby Islands in early January while
contractors "covered up" asbestos on the boat.

The Islands ferry service was without a back-up boat from Jan. 6
to Jan. 11 this year after a crewmember raised questions about
some material on board.

Department spokesman Steve Smith says lab tests confirmed that
samples from the Spray contained asbestos.

"To ensure the safety of staff and the public the Spray wasn't
available for service while the asbestos issue was being dealt
with," wrote Smith in response to questions from the Courier.
"Arrangements were immediately made for an asbestos company to
identify what needed to be done to address the situation.  The
company came on site and covered up the asbestos-containing

The department found asbestos in the bathroom, on the bridge, in a
seating area, and in pipe gaskets.

Smith says, "There is no harm to the crew or passengers unless the
asbestos material is disturbed and becomes airborne."

Health Canada says breathing in asbestos in significant amounts
can scar the lung making breathing difficult.  It may also lead to
a rare cancer of the chest lining or stomach cavity and can cause
lung cancer, especially when inhalation of asbestos is combined
with smoking.

This is the first time asbestos has been found on a provincial
ferry but Smith admits asbestos was used throughout the
shipbuilding industry as insulation and fireproofing into the
early 1980s.

As a result of this discovery, the department will be testing
ferries built prior to or shortly after 1990.

This includes the William G Ernst from Tancook; the Joe Casey from
Long Island, Digby County; the Colas Silas on the Little Narrows
run in Cape Breton; and the Stormont in Country Harbour,
Guysborough County.

The department also gave staff literature outlining safe work
practice and what to do if they suspect material contains

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Total Environmental Gets Fremont Abatement Job
Daniel Carson at The News Messenger reports that Fremont City
Schools awarded its Fremont Middle School asbestos abatement
contract to Total Environmental as the district moves toward
demolishing the Croghan Street building this year.

Chris Moore of Touchstone CPM, the contractor for the middle
school project, said Total Environmental bid $108,665 for the

Moore said the apparent low bid submitted by Diversified
Environmental and Demolition included a bid guarantee that was
completed incorrectly.  He said that rendered that company's bid
nonresponsive, and after being notified, Diversified withdrew its

Total Environmental had the next lowest bid and met all of the
requirements as a responsible bidder, Moore said.

Moore said the building's asbestos abatement work is scheduled to
start in March and be completed by May.  He said architecture firm
Fanning Howey Associates is getting demolition documents ready.

At an October 2011 school board meeting, Moore said a survey of
the middle school revealed the plaster area of the auditorium
ceiling needed to be removed, at a cost of about $100,000.

Moore said most of the other plaster tested negative for asbestos.

The district will have a farewell open house at the old middle
school Feb. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Aquatic Centre Vermiculite At 'Below Risk' Level
During the boiler upgrade of the Aquatic Centre, a four-inch hole
was cut into the exterior wall.  At this point vermiculite, a
common insulating material, was found inside the wall.  As
vermiculite is known to be cross contaminated with asbestos, work
was stopped and testing of the material was conducted.  Test
samples were taken from two locations in the Complex, the exterior
wall of the Aquatic Centre and the exterior wall of the Arena.
Both tests have shown trace (less than 1%) amounts of asbestos.
The test was conducted in accordance with current National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analytical Method

Peak Environmental, the consultant hired to conduct the test
provided the following commentary:

    "As the concentrations of asbestos in vermiculite are
extremely low and with the dilution affect, incurred in a room
with active air movement, we perceive there would be no risk of
exposure to airborne asbestos fibers released from this material
in concentrations even approaching published WorkSafeBC and
American Council of Government Industrial Hygienists Exposure
Limits for airborne asbestos fibers of 0.1 fibers/cc of air."

As a precautionary measure, the Castlegar and District Recreation
Commission has retained Pacific Rim Industrial to remediate and
contain vermiculite in the areas in question and to conduct air
testing in the Community Complex.  Peak environmental has been
retained to conduct an Asbestos Inventory and Risk Assessment for
the entire Community Complex and Pioneer Arena.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ex-Employee's Family Sues Chevron and Texaco
David Yates of The Southeast Texas Record reports that the family
of the late Robert Marze has filed an asbestos lawsuit against
Chevron and Texaco, alleging the companies exposed him to the
fiber throughout his career.

Doris Marze and her children filed the suit Jan. 17 in Jefferson
County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, Robert Marze was employed by Texaco in
Port Arthur, where he was allegedly exposed to asbestos.

The suit does not give dates of employment, nor does the suit
state his occupation.

As the result of his alleged exposure, Robert Marze developed
pulmonary asbestosis, which he died from on Aug. 20.

The suit alleges the defendants knew for decades that asbestos
caused cancer but still exposed employees to the substance without
warning them.

The plaintiffs are suing for exemplary damages.

They are represented by Keith Hyde, attorney for the Beaumont law
firm Provost Umphrey.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the

Case No. D191-661

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lopinot is St. Clair Cty's New Docket Master
Steve Korris of The Madison/St. Clair Record reports that while
Madison County's huge asbestos docket shifted from one judge to
another in the glare of publicity, St. Clair County's growing
asbestos docket shifted from one judge to another by routine

On Jan. 1, St. Clair County Associate Judge Vince Lopinot took
charge of asbestos suits and hundreds of other actions that had
belonged to Associate Judge Andrew Gleeson.

Chief Judge John Baricevic rotated Gleeson to satellite courts in
East St. Louis and Fairview Heights.

On the surface it looked like a demotion for Gleeson, who presided
over many important cases that would normally belong to circuit

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder endured such a
demotion last month, after her retention campaign received $30,000
from asbestos lawyers.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis assigned the asbestos docket
to Associate Judge Clarence Harrison

Gleeson lost his docket for a different reason.

Circuit judges in St. Clair County keep their cases year after
year, but associate judges rotate each year from courtroom to
courtroom or from building to building.

This year's rotation greatly expands the power of Lopinot,
formerly a traffic judge.

Gleeson and Lopinot seek election as circuit judges in November's
general election.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carcinogens Found in Northampton Nursing Home
Adam Clark of The Morning Call reports that Northampton County has
closed part of Gracedale's basement because of asbestos.

The county this month shut down portions of the southeast and
southwest sections of the nursing home's basement including the
maintenance shop and break room and carpentry shop.

Asbestos fibers were found at the surface level of those areas but
were not airborne, Director of Administration Tom Harp said.  The
county is waiting on a final testing report to determine the scope
of the cleanup.

The areas that are closed are not essential to the day-to-day
operations at Gracedale, Harp said, but they must be re-opened
before long because they contain parts needed for wheelchairs and

Harp said the county doesn't want to cause unnecessary panic and
does not believe employees or residents are in danger.

County workers requested the tests because of concerns about
asbestos, Harp said.

At the last two County Council meetings, maintenance employees
pleaded with county council to take action about the asbestos.

"I've been here too long.  I've seen too much," Gracedale employee
Jonathan Siedt said.  "It's time to act, not talk about it."

Some employees have asked for medical surveillance.  The program
is an assessment of employees exposed or potentially exposed to
occupational hazards.

The county is considering the request but medical surveillance is
typically only for workers who handle asbestos during abatement,
Harp said.

Concerns about asbestos in county buildings prompted county
Controller Stephen Barron, Jr., to contact the Environmental
Protection Agency in 2010.  The EPA has yet to file a report on
its investigation and no fines have been levied to date.  Barron
said he contacted the EPA because the administration did not take
enough action.

The county's law library is also closed because of asbestos.
However, Northampton has spent more than $800,000 for
environmental testing and hazardous substance abatement in its
buildings since 2006, according to a report prepared by County
Executive John Stoffa on Jan. 13.

"To insinuate that this administration has not taken this issue
seriously is absurd," Stoffa wrote.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Debate Up Over Information From Asbestos Trusts
John O'Brien at Legal Newsline reports that two attorneys on
opposite sides of a debate over payments to asbestos victims took
part on Jan. 20 in a policy debate presented by the Congressional
Civil Justice Caucus Academy.

Nathan Finch, Esq. -- nfinch@motleyrice.com -- of plaintiffs firm
Motley Rice and James Stengel, Esq. -- jstengel@orrick.com -- of
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, disagreed over whether information
gathered during payments made by bankruptcy trusts to victims of
asbestos exposure should be shared in court cases filed by the
same victims.

More than 90 companies declared bankruptcy as a result of asbestos
litigation and at least 60 created trusts designed to pay out
asbestos claims.  The system works independent of lawsuits filed
against solvent defendants.

Stengel said information from the trust system could be helpful in
court cases.

"The critical information is what the plaintiffs are saying about
their asbestos exposure," he said.

That information, Stengel argues, could help determine which
companies bear the responsibility of paying the claimant.  A
plaintiff could omit any asbestos exposure resolved by the trust
system in his or her lawsuit, making it seem the defendants are at
fault for all injuries, Stengel feels.

If the information of other exposure were provided to defendants,
they could argue that they aren't wholly responsible.  He called
the trust system "parallel but distant."

"It may mean that the wrong people are paying," Stengel said.

Finch, however, says there is no justification to pass any federal
law granting Stengel's wish.

"The whole idea that there is fraud and abuse because of a lack of
transparency is not supported by facts," Finch said.  "I don't see
the need for federal intervention in state courts.

"I think this debate is largely unnecessary."

Motley Rice is a big player in asbestos bankruptcy trusts.  A
report released in August by the Rand Corporation showed Joseph
Rice served on four trust advisory committees, which help
determine how much a claimant is paid from the trust.

Those trusts are Owens-Corning, DII Industries, Armstrong World
and Babcock & Wilcox.  Owens-Corning paid out the most of those
four in 2008 -- more than $1 billion.  The Rand report says a 25%
fee is customary for attorneys.

All totaled, $3.3 billion was paid out by asbestos bankruptcy
trusts in 2008, according to the Rand report.  Finch says the
trust system and tort system are managing just fine and noted that
Stengel's firm has supported plans of reorganization that have the
same provisions as the current system.

"I don't think there is the type of problem the other side is
claiming," Finch said.

In April 2010, U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, asked the
Government Accountability Office to investigate the trust system.
He pointed to an oft-cited 2007 instance in Ohio, where in
Cuyahoga County the California law firm of Brayton Purcell claimed
the late Harry Kanania died in 2000 of mesothelioma solely from
smoking cigarettes made by Lorillard Tobacco, while simultaneously
seeking compensation from multiple asbestos trusts, claiming their
products led to Kanania's fatal lung condition.

The GAO released its report in October, finding no fraud in the
system.  It did note that the trusts operate in secrecy.

"Although the possibility exists that a claimant could file the
same medical evidence and altered work histories with different
trusts, each trust's focus is to ensure that each claim meets the
criteria defined in its (trust rules), meaning the claimant has
met the requisite medical and exposure histories to the
satisfaction of the trustees," the report says.

"Of the trust officials that we interviewed that conducted audits,
none indicated that these audits had identified cases of fraud."

Stengel had testified before the House Subcommittee on the
Constitution in September.

"Transparency regarding claims of asbestos exposure, the
entitlement to payments from bankruptcy trusts and tort system
defendants are the amounts of payments actually received will
benefit not only defendants in the tort system, but the trusts and
those claimants whose access to limited funds would be diminished
as a result of double recovery by competing claimants," he said.

Smith is a member of the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus, a
bipartisan group of 11 members of the House of Representatives.

It is independent of the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus
Academy, an educational program put on by the Law & Economics
Center at George Mason University School of Law.

The academy says its mission is to provide educational programs on
a range of civil justice issues for the benefit of the general
public and members of Congress.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: McGill Univ. Holds on Chadha Amid Letter Campaign
CBC News reports that anti-asbestos activists are pressuring a
pair of health institutions to cut ties with a Montreal-based
asbestos exporter.

Asbestos opponent Stacy Cattran is leading a letter-writing
campaign against Roshi Chadha, an executive with Seja Trade Ltd.,
a Montreal-based company that exports the mineral to India.

Chadha is also a member of the boards of both St. Mary's Hospital
Foundation and McGill University.

Cattran says those two activities are incompatible.

"Asbestos causes cancer and a hospital should not be legitimizing
the asbestos industry by having one of the main faces of the
asbestos industry sitting on their board," said the Ontario-based
activist, who lost her father to mesothelioma in 2008.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Until last week Chadha served on the governing body of the
Canadian Red Cross -- but resigned after Cattran's letter-writing
campaign lobbied the humanitarian organization.

St. Mary's Foundation said it is reviewing Chadha's position.

But McGill's board issued a statement saying Chadha is a valued
volunteer member, and it has no further comment.

CBC calls to Chadha have not been returned.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Phillip Foxman Companies Face 6 EPA Prosecutions
Natalie O'brien of The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a Sydney
man who founded the Clean Up Israel campaign has been charged with
illegally transporting and dumping asbestos contaminated waste on
his property in Wollondilly.

Phillip Foxman and the companies of which he is a director, Botany
Building Recyclers Pty Ltd, and Foxman Environmental Development
Services Pty Ltd, in Banksmeadow, are facing six prosecutions by
the Environmental Protection Authority and possible fines of
millions of dollars if found guilty.

Each offence has a maximum penalty of AU$250,000 for individuals
and AU$1 million for companies.

The Sun-Herald revealed last April that Mr. Foxman had been
accused of illegally dumping between 25,000 tons and 35,000 tons
of processed waste contaminated by asbestos on his land.

At the time, Mr. Foxman denied he illegally dumped waste on the
site.  He also denied the asbestos on his property posed a health
risk or was pollution, saying it was "bonded asbestos" and there
was no "environmental risk".

But the EPA has alleged that a large quantity of waste was
unlawfully transported from the Botany Building Recyclers waste
facility in Banksmeadow to a property owned by Foxman
Environmental Development Services in Wollondilly for several
months in 2009 and in 2010.

The EPA also alleges that the waste, allegedly containing
contaminants including asbestos, was dumped in at least two
stockpiles on the property, known as The Oaks.

The acting chief environmental regulator for the EPA, Gary
Whytcross, said illegally dumped waste could cause significant
harm to the environment.  "The NSW government requires large waste
facilities to be licensed to ensure the protection of the
environment," he said.

Mr. Foxman has been ordered to appear before the NSW Land and
Environment Court in February.

Mr. Foxman has said he founded the Clean Up Israel campaign after
the collapse of the bridge over the polluted Yarkon River during
the Maccabiah Games in 1997.  Four Australian athletes died in the
accident and more than 70 were injured.

He was in Israel at the time and came up with the idea of a
community based action program to clean up the country.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oldham Council Ensures Abatement of The Coliseum
BBC News Manchester reports that the future of a historic theatre
has been secured after Oldham Council pledged to invest GBP1.45
million in its upkeep.

The Coliseum in the town centre has enticed audiences since 1885,
but a catalogue of works need to be carried out to stabilize the
old building.

Its heating system is almost obsolete and asbestos needs to be

Howard Sykes, council leader, said: "Even in this very challenging
financial climate we have found the cash to invest in this key

In August 2009, the Unity Partnership carried out an assessment
which revealed that the heating system needed to be replaced.

It also identified asbestos which had been laying dormant since
the 1960s.  There is no risk to the public, but it could become
dangerous if work on the heating system moves it.

The local authority confirmed that the asbestos will be removed.

Mr.. Sykes added: "The Coliseum has long been an outstanding
'jewel' in our town centre and it was clear we must secure its
long term future.

"Making investment now to repair the heating system and remove the
asbestos will enable the timing of this work to be controlled in
order to minimize disruption to the theatre's program of events
and public use of the facility."

The move is part of the new GBP32 million capital investment plan
in Oldham which is running until 2014.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Johnson Mine Heir Joins Letter-Writing Campaign
Michelle Lalonde of The Montreal Gazette reports that a descendant
of one of the earliest pioneers of Quebec's storied asbestos
industry has publicly joined the movement to stop Canadian
production and export of the deadly mineral.

Susan Henry of Vancouver is the great-great niece of Andrew Stuart
Johnson, a farmer who in 1878 founded the Johnson Mine Company in
Thetford Mines, the first asbestos mine to operate in Canada.

After opening his mine, Johnson served as mayor of Thetford Mines
and then as a Conservative member of the Quebec legislature until
1892, no doubt promoting his industry as vigorously as politicians
from the region continue to do today.

Despite her family's history, Henry has now put her name to a
letter-writing campaign, launched by the David Suzuki Foundation
in November, calling for an end to Canada's involvement in the
asbestos trade.  In a message sent out to foundation members,
Susan Henry writes:

"Although my great-great uncle, Andrew S. Johnson, founded his
mine . . . in good faith, the intervening years have revealed the
very dangerous nature of asbestos.  It is deeply disturbing to me
that we are now poised to ramp up exports to developing countries,
when we are fully aware of how lethal this mineral can be."

She goes on to urge other Canadians to help the foundation reach
its goal of sending 10,000 messages to Prime Minister Stephen
Harper and Quebec Premier Jean Charest opposing the reopening of
the Jeffrey Mine.  The site was reporting 8,977 messages had been
sent as of Saturday afternoon.

The Quebec government has promised to provide a $58 million loan
guarantee to Westmount-based Balcorp Ltd. to expand the exhausted
open pit mine into an underground operation.  The expansion would
enable the mine to produce 200,000 tons of asbestos per year for
the next 20 years.  But the government's offer is conditional on
the company first proving it has a firm commitment for $25 million
in private investments for the project.

Quebec's economic development minister has established several
deadlines for Balcorp to prove its financing over the past year
and a half, but continues to extend them.  Jean-Pierre D'Auteuil,
a spokesperson for the ministry, told The Gazette on Jan. 20 that
Balcorp Ltd. is still negotiating with investors and has not yet
proven to the government that it has the private financing

D'Auteuil also defended the government's position, noting Balcorp
must demonstrate to the government that clients of the Jeffrey
Mine intend to use the product safely as a condition of the loan

"Thanks to technological advances, it is possible to use
chrysotile asbestos with negligible risk to health when it is
selected, handled and installed respecting strict standards,"
D'Auteuil wrote in an emailed statement.  "On the other hand,
asbestos can indeed present health risks to workers and the public
when its use is poorly regulated and does not satisfy high safety

Asbestos was an economic dream for Quebec for more than a century;
the towns of Thetford and Asbestos grew around the mines rather
than vice versa.  Quebec companies also produced brake pads,
textiles, paper and cement pipes made with asbestos, employing
thousands of workers.

But the dream began to morph into a nightmare in the 1960s when
medical science revealed much higher cancer rates among mine
workers in Thetford Mines than in the general population.  The
world learned that when asbestos dust is breathed in, the tiny
fibers become lodged in lung tissues and other internal organs,
where they remain.  Then decades later, those fibers can cause
fatal diseases, like asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and
other forMs. of cancer.

Today, exposure to asbestos is the single biggest cause of work-
related deaths in Quebec.  In 2009, more than half of the deaths
compensated by the Quebec Workers' Compensation Board -- 102 of
185 -- were due to asbestos exposure.  Higher death tolls are
expected in the future since it can take decades (after exposure)
for fatal asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis and
mesothelioma to develop.

While rules for protection of asbestos miners are much more
stringent now, workers here and abroad continue to be exposed to
asbestos dust when buildings are demolished or renovated, or when
work is done on roads, water pipes and other infrastructure that
has been reinforced with asbestos, or when natural disasters or
terrorist attacks cause buildings to collapse.

All of this has all but killed the North American market for
Quebec asbestos, and the product is banned in more than 50
countries worldwide, and heavily regulated in others.  But because
of its low cost, strength and fire-preventing properties, the
mineral is still in demand in developing countries, such as India
and China, where protection for workers is generally inadequate.

Quebec's only two remaining asbestos mines have suspended
operations.  The LAB Chrysotile mine in Thetford Mines declared
bankruptcy earlier this month, but is hoping for government
financial aid to restructure and reopen.  And the Jeffrey Mine in
Asbestos ceased operations last fall.

Susan Henry told The Gazette on Jan. 20 she decided to join the
anti-asbestos movement partly because she has an aunt who grew up
in Thetford Mines and died a painful death from an asbestos-
related disease, and partly because of the asbestos-related deaths
now being reported due to exposure during the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attack in New York.

"It's kind of horrifying that I come from a family responsible for
the deaths of thousands and thousands of people (even though they
didn't know it at the time)," she wrote.

But Henry seeMs. optimistic public pressure can persuade
politicians to stop Canadian asbestos production.  "Our letters
are making a difference," she writes.  "Still no decision has been
announced.  The government seeMs. to be stalling on confirming the
deal -- and with good reason.  Health authorities have determined
that all kinds of asbestos cause cancer and there is mounting
opposition at home and abroad to Canadian asbestos exports."

The letter-writing campaign, launched in early November, asks the
Quebec government to refuse the loan guarantee.  The campaign --
action.davidsuzuki.org/asbestos -- also asks the federal
government to help asbestos mining communities transition to other
economic activities and to support international restrictions on
the asbestos trade.  (Canada continues to oppose efforts to
include Chrysotile asbestos in the United Nation's Rotterdam
Convention, which lists hazardous products and requires exporting
companies to inform importing companies of dangers and precautions

"I find it inspiring that so many passionate individuals, like
Susan Henry, have joined our campaign," said Lisa Gue, a
spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation.  "We're all hoping
Premier Charest gets the message and refuses the loan guarantee."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovations Stir Up Toxic Fibers in Bayside Homes
Rebecca Thistleton of the Melbourne Weekly Bayside reports that
increased home renovations and knock-down, rebuild projects have
caused a spike in asbestos disturbances around the south-eastern

Martin Campi from Melbourne Asbestos Removal and Demolition, based
in East St. Kilda, said a rise in home renovations had led to many
calls to homes in Bentleigh, East Bentleigh, Sandringham and

"It's happening everywhere.  Asbestos is in nearly all homes built
before '85, but there is so much renovating and building going on
in those areas," he said.

Kingston City Council issued a safety reminder last week after two
recent incidents where asbestos was disturbed in homes.

Mayor John Ronke said he was amazed at the cases given the
prevalence of warning messages in the media.  "We need to keep
reinforcing the message to the community that everyone should take
care around asbestos," he said.

Slater and Gordon asbestos lawyer Margaret Kent said domestic
asbestos cases were common because home owners did not realize
asbestos was found in so many places.

"It's not just in sheeting, it is around heaters, in eaves and
splashbacks," she said.

Ms. Kent said many domestic cases involved people sweeping up dust
after renovation work.

"Often the wives will be upset there is a mess so they will sweep
up and not realise there is asbestos dust."

Bayside council infrastructure services acting director Charles
Turner said homeowners should use a professional contractor to
responsibly remove and dispose of asbestos.

"Like the rest of Australia, it is believed that the majority of
unrenovated homes in Bayside built between the 1940s and late
1980s contain some form of asbestos," he said.

When asbestos is disturbed the fibers become airborne and can
cause lung disease if inhaled.

Mr. Turner urged residents who believed asbestos had been
disturbed in their home to contact the council.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: QFRS Suspects Toxic Contamination in Razed House
Kirsty Nancarrow of The ABC NEWS reports that authorities are
investigating whether an electrical fault caused a fire that
destroyed a Cairns home on Jan. 22.  The blaze broke out just
after 7:00pm (AEST).

Forensic police and fire officers have been combing through the
charred contents of the house this morning.

Fire investigator Mark Csukardy says the residents were home when
the fire started and witnesses are still being interviewed.
"There are reports that they were cleaning the house at the time
and then noticed the fire there," he said.  "There were reports of
a faulty light switch but as I said we're investigating that

Firefighters battled 15 meter flames which also threatened a
neighboring property.

Brad Tipping from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS)
says crews had to use procedures for hazardous materials.

"There was a possible asbestos contamination in this building due
to its age and the materials it was constructed of," he said.

"Procedures had to be followed to wash men down with their
protective equipment and helmets and boots and then bag the
equipment up to be sent away and cleaned."

The home's 11 residents are staying with other family members.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1,000 Km of Asbestos Piping Found in Ethekwini
The publicly owned entity, formed in 2000, is an amalgamation of
38 municipalities who previously had little or no access to piped
water or proper sanitation.  Taking this responsibility in its
stride, eThekwini Municipality has gone on to receive various
certifications and recognitions as it continues to raise the
standard of both drinking water and effluent sewage.

eThekwini Municipality recently completed a project to replace
2,000 km of asbestos cement water pipes at a price of R2 billion.
However, as some of the former municipalities eThekwini
incorporated in 2000 kept poor records, Head of Water and
Sanitation Neil Macleod knew there was a possibility hazardous
piping still existed.  "We used contractors to go and dig up other
parts because we weren't sure what they were made of," he notes.
"We found another 1,000 km of asbestos piping so there is still
more to do in this area."

A project to provide toilets for shack settlements is also moving
ahead with 300 areas set to benefit from communal facilities by
the end of the year.  eThekwini has also moved forward with its
pressure management projects to reduce static pressures in the
city to cut non-revenue water by five% over the past year, which
Macleod says is "starting to pay dividends."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bristol-Myers Gives $7 Million to Cancer Patients
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center relates that Bristol-Myers
Squibb announced late last week that the company donated $6.9
million in 2011 to a non-profit that is dedicated to providing
financial assistance to those in need of health treatments.

This donation, made to HealthWell Foundation, will benefit
mesothelioma patients who are faced with expensive treatment
options like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, which
cumulatively can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Mesothelioma is the rare cancer of the lining of the lungs that is
caused by asbestos exposure.  Approximately 3,000 people are
affected by this disease each year in the United States.

The pharmaceutical giant, known for developing popular drugs like
Plavix, Abilify and Reyatz, has stated that the donation to the
HealthWell Foundation will better aid cancer patients with
copayments, healthcare premiums, coinsurance and out-of-pocket
expenses related to their disease.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb has robust patient assistance programs for
cancer patients and this contribution reinforces our commitment to
helping patients gain access to the medicines they need," said
John Tsai, who is vice president of the U.S. Medical division of
the company.

The company's involvement with mesothelioma is most notable
through their development of Cisplatin, one of the primary
chemotherapy drugs used to fight the rare cancer.  The platinum-
based drug was originally approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in 1978 and is often used in tandem with
other treatments.

Since the organization's inception in 2003, the HealthWell
Foundation has been dedicated to ensuring that no patient is
denied health care because of financial limitations.  It works
with patients one-on-one to determine what their medical needs
are, and then to help cover them.  Ranked by Forbes as "one of
America's 20 most efficient charities," the non-profit has claimed
to help over 100,000 patients already.

The efficient and reputable organization helps a variety of cancer
patients, including those with mesothelioma, by providing the
assistance they need in a timely manner.

Patients diagnosed with this rare cancer of the lining of the
lungs typically survive between four and 18 months after
diagnosis.  During this period, expenses can quickly add up.  The
average cost of surgeries for cancers of the lung is about

Radiation treatment, which is often required on an ongoing basis,
can cost approximately $2,000 a month.  Chemotherapy treatment
costs, though they vary from drug to drug, can range from a few
thousand to as much as $30,000 over a multiple-week period.

Because most treatments for mesothelioma are not considered
extremely effective, many patients undergo multiple treatments
which can make the total cost of care enormous.

The relief that HealthWell can provide because of the Bristol-
Myers Squibb $7 million donation will hopefully prove significant
to the mesothelioma patients who need financial assistance.  The
non-profit's low overhead and efficient model should allow much of
the donation to be passed along to patients in need.

According to the drug company, the relationship between the two
organizations stem from a shared vision of giving cancer patients
widespread access to care, despite financial boundaries.

"We are proud to support the HealthWell Foundation in its mission
to reduce barriers to care for under-insured patients."

Beyond the donation to HealthWell, Bristol-Myers Squibb has helped
over 200,000 patients in 2011 by providing free prescription
drugs, estimated at a value of $400 million.  This was facilitated
through the Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation, in
addition to the company's other programs.

The problem of rising medical expenses has become extremely
evident over the previous few years.  A 2011 study from the Dana-
Farber Cancer Institute and the Duke University Medical Center
stated that out-of-pocket cancer-related expenses average around
$712 per month, with many of the study's respondents calling the
costs a 'catastrophic problem.'

ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Violator Faces 2 Years and $250,000 Fine
Rick Plumlee of The Wichita Eagle reports that a Harper man
pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 in federal court to violating a federal
environmental law when he demolished a building more than three
years ago that contained asbestos, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom

Hugh Barker, 55, pleaded guilty to failing to file notification of
demolition with the Environmental Protection Agency.  In his plea,
he admitted that on Oct. 8, 2008, his company, Barker Sand and
Gravel, began demolishing the Buckeye Building in Harper.

Barker had a contract with the city of Harper for the demolition.
An inspection by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
determined that the building's debris included floor tile
containing asbestos.  Sentencing is set for April 9.  Barker faces
a maximum of two years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

In 2008, Barker was sentenced to two years' probation after
pleading guilty to dumping a pollutant into East Sand Creek in
Harper County in 2006.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Princeton's Firestone Library Abatement Ongoing
Princeton University's News at Princeton reports extensive testing
has found no elevated levels of asbestos in Firestone Library,
where a small amount of debris containing asbestos was found in a
B level office area last week.

The debris was found to contain a small amount of asbestos, but
air sample tests indicated that the area was safe for occupancy.
As a precaution, the area was thoroughly cleaned by a licensed
asbestos abatement contractor, and since then additional tests by
an independent consultant of air samples in that area and other
locations in the library have shown no airborne asbestos.

An independent outside firm is continuing to conduct air sampling
throughout the library, while a second independent firm is
reviewing the air sampling results.

The source of the debris was ductwork that was disturbed by
ongoing renovation work on the floor above the office area.  In
1996, when insulation containing asbestos in the library's
ductwork was found to have come loose, the insulation was removed
and the ductwork was cleaned and inspected.  The air inside the
ductwork was tested and found safe when the work was completed.
Small amounts of debris may have remained stuck in crevices and
corners, and it appears that movement of the ducts during the
current renovation may have dislodged small amounts of debris
along with dust that typically collects over time, according to
the University's Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

For the past several years, the University has conducted air
sampling in different areas of the library as part of routine
testing by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety or in
conjunction with asbestos abatement projects.  Air sample tests
are the best way to determine if an asbestos hazard exists, and
results from 0years of air sample tests in different parts of the
library indicate no increased risk of asbestos-related disease.
None of the samples tested have indicated elevated levels of
asbestos.  The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
has established a workplace permissible exposure for asbestos of
0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) of air, averaged over eight
hours per day and 40 hours per week.  However, the clearance limit
required for reoccupancy after an abatement is much more
conservative (0.01 f/cc), and the University has chosen to use
this significantly more stringent standard as its occupancy limit.

During the ongoing renovations at Firestone all work that involves
moving or cutting ductwork will be evaluated by the project team
and, as required, handled by contractors who specialize in
asbestos abatement.  The contractors' work will be monitored by
independent assessors.  As is the case with all abatement work,
the work area will be closed, and ducts in the area will be
enclosed and separated from other areas.  Air sample testing will
continue throughout the duration of the project.

Staff in the office area where the debris was found were informed
about the incident last week.  Library staff have received updates
via email and during a regularly scheduled meeting to provide
information about the ongoing renovations.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Imposed "Death Sentences" on Workers
Erica Bulman of 24 Hours Vancouver reports that an employer who
knowingly used recovering addicts as young as 14 to demolish
asbestos-contaminated houses without providing protective gear
could be headed to jail.

Arthur Moore of AM Environmental was scheduled to be sentenced on
Jan. 24 for contempt after ignoring WorkSafeBC and B.C. Supreme
Court orders to cease operation of his Surrey-based asbestos and
drywall removal business.

Court documents show Moore targeted at least 20 recovering addicts
from the Lion Wellness Recovery House in Surrey as far back as
2008, knowing they needed work as part of their recovery program
or risk being kicked out.

"It's despicable.  These are very vulnerable people who will do
whatever it takes," said Lee Loftus, BC and Yukon Building and
Construction Trades Council president.  "He's imposed a death
sentence on these people."

Court documents show Moore forged reports concealing the presence
of hazardous materials.  He regularly exposed his workers to
asbestos without their knowledge or proper safety equipment.

Documents include affidavits from two employees who said they were
told by Moore "to run away" if they saw anyone from the Workers'
Compensation Board on job sites.

After the injunction, Moore operated under Tri City Hazmat, Surrey
Hazmat, BC Hazmat, and Effective Contracting.

Last month, WorkSafeBC lawyer Scott Nielson asked Justice Richard
Goepel to sentence Moore to six to 12 months jail time.

WorkSafeBC statistics show over the past five years there was, on
average, more than 50 deaths annually from work-related asbestos

It usually takes 10 to 40 years before cancer, fibrosis or
thickening of the lungs' lining manifest themselves.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Downtowner Abatement to Complete in 45 Days
The Chatham Star Tribune reports that asbestos removal at the
former Downtowner Motor Inn will be in full swing this week as the
number of workers at the site will double to a total of 16.

This work will continue for another 30 to 45 days until the
process is complete.

"During the later part of the asbestos removal you will see the
demolition crews moving in," said Jerry Rigney, inspections
director for the city of Danville's Community Development

Because of its high visibility and the more than two decades that
it has stood empty, the building has become a focal point for
blight eradication and redevelopment in the River District.

Danville Industrial Development Authority purchased the property
last year through a grant from the Danville Regional Foundation.

The removal of this structure will begin what IDA and foundation
officials believe will be a major transformation of the district.

In addition to demolition of the Downtowner, sidewalk and
streetscape improvements will begin this year on portions of Main
and Union streets in what will be the first phase of the River
District redevelopment

The demolition crews, Rigney said, will use a high-reach excavator
with a muncher that will crush the building's concrete.

The crushed concrete will be hauled to a facility in Winston-
Salem, N.C., where it will be crushed more finely.

D. H. Griffin Wrecking Co. of Greensboro, N.C., is the demolition

That contract was awarded in late December.

Since the first of this month, the company has installed fencing
around the perimeter of the building to secure the site.

Workers also have been on site preparing for the removal of
asbestos and other hazardous materials from the building.

"They are working this week on the top floor," Rigney said.

Asbestos was widely used as a building material until the mid-
1980s.  It is only dangerous when the fibers become airborne and
can be inhaled.

Asbestos may be found in roofs, attic insulation, ceilings, walls,
ductwork and floor tiles.

Removing asbestos requires surfaces to be sealed and the use of
safety equipment to depressurize and filter the air.

Contaminant showers also have been constructed for use by workers
before they leave the building each day.  The asbestos is bagged,
sealed and hauled away.

Demolition is expected to be completed in July.  The property then
will be back-filled and seeded.  No decision has been made on the
future use.

The Downtowner was constructed in 1963 at the corner of Main and
Union streets, which at the time was Danville's busiest

The seven-story hotel featured 116 rental rooms, including a
rooftop penthouse, and 15 meeting rooms.  Two eight-passenger
elevators served the building.

The Main Street entrance led to a restaurant, a nightclub and
commercial tenant spaces. An underground area was set aside for
valet parking.

Built at a cost of $1 million, the Downtowner was part of a plan
to make Danville a convention center, and with its location, it
was expected to spark a revitalization of downtown.

The building closed in 1986.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2 Violators Indicted for Improper Abatement
Whitney Clearman of The Metrowest Daily News reports that two men
have been indicted by a Norfolk County grand jury for allegedly
removing asbestos from a Medway rental home without following
state guidelines for the process.

David Einis, 57, of Weston, the owner of the single-family rental
home, and Nicholas Pasquantonio, 41, who works as a Plainville-
based heating contractor, were each indicted on Jan. 19 on two
counts of violating the Massachusetts Clean Air Act.  They are
accused of failing to file a notice of asbestos removal with the
state Department of Environmental Protection and failing to
prevent asbestos emissions, Attorney General Martha Coakley's
office said on Jan. 23.

Pasquantonio was also indicted on charges of witness intimidation,
according to the attorney general's office.

Medway Board of Health Chairman Robert Collum said that he hasn't
seen many cases with the toxin in the past 25 years.

"I think that was only the second time we've come across
asbestos," Collum said.

Einis hired Pasquantonio of Johnny's Oil Service Inc. in
Plainville, who is not a licensed asbestos contractor, in early
December 2010 to replace the boiler in the Medway home where a
family with several children live, according to information in a
press release from the attorney general's office.  Pasquantonio
did not seal off the basement while he replaced the boiler, the
release said.

A spokeswoman from the attorney general's office declined to give
the address of the house.

After notification from the Medway Board of Health, the state
Department of Environmental Protection inspected the home and
found asbestos was improperly removed and released, according to
the press release.

Einis and Pasquantonio did not notify the DEP and did not follow
proper procedure, according to the attorney general's office.

The Department of Labor Standards requires that asbestos removal
be performed by licensed contractors only, and that contractors
give details on when the removal will occur and how asbestos will
be removed, stored and disposed.

Pasquantonio is also accused of going to the home and threatening
one of the tenants, telling the person not to testify against him
at trial after he found out he may be criminally charge,
authorities said.

The home has since been decontaminated, Department of
Environmental Protection Spokesman Joe Ferson said on Jan. 23.
Ferson said he thinks the family is still living in the home.

Einis and Pasquantonio will be arraigned in Norfolk County
Superior Court at a later date, according to the attorney
general's office.

Einis said he has no comment on the indictment.  Pasquantonio was
not available for comment.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Materials in Razed Turrella Factory Found
Emma Partridge of The St. George & Sutherland Shire Leader reports
that cleaners were still removing bricks and asbestos sheets from
the road and footpath more than 24 hours after a fire destroyed a
Turrella factory on Jan. 22.

The packaging and plastics factory owned by M&I Passalis burned to
the ground on the corner of Turrella and Reede streets after a
fire broke out at about 2am.

The severity of the fire forced the closure of Turrella railway
station, opposite the property, and nearby roads for about 12

Police said there were no signs that the fire was lit deliberately
but said police and Fire & Rescue NSW were still trying to
determine the cause.

St. George police Inspector Gary Ballard said five houses were
evacuated on both Turrella and Reede streets.

"There are no clues as to what started the fire at this stage,"
Inspector Ballard said.  He said no one was injured and no one was
inside the building at the time the fire broke out.

Paul Gellatly from Ross Mitchell and Associates was managing the
clean-up on Jan. 23 and said the building was structurally unsafe.

"We have to make sure the footpath and road are safe before it's
opened again . . . asbestos explodes when it is burned so it's not
safe," Mr. Gellatly said.

Police initially believed the factory to be owned by Michel's
Patisserie after finding old branded packaging inside the

A Michel's Patisserie spokesman said that the company did not own
the building and had not been supplied with material from the
factory for several years.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Posts $157MM After-Tax Asbestos Provision
Crane Co., a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
industrial products, reported a fourth quarter 2011 net loss of
$2.16 per share, compared to earnings of $0.66 per diluted share
in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Fourth quarter 2011 results
include an after-tax asbestos provision of $157 million and an
after-tax environmental provision of $20 million (totaling $3.05
per share).  Fourth quarter 2010 results were impacted by net
after-tax charges from Special Items of $0.02 per diluted share.
Excluding these Special Items, fourth quarter 2011 earnings per
diluted share increased 29% to $0.88 compared to $0.68 in the
fourth quarter of 2010.

Fourth quarter 2011 sales of $632 million increased $58 million,
or 10%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, resulting from a
core sales increase of $40 million (7%), an increase in sales from
acquired businesses (net of divestitures) of $16 million (3%), and
favorable foreign currency translation of $2 million.

The operating loss in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $192.7
million compared to an operating profit of $53.7 million in the
fourth quarter of 2010.  Excluding Special Items, fourth quarter
2011 operating profit increased 26.3% to $79.3 million compared to
$62.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, and operating profit
margin increased to 12.6%, compared to 10.9% in the fourth quarter
of 2010.

Full Year 2011 Results

Total sales in 2011 were $2.55 billion, an increase of 15% from
$2.22 billion in 2010, resulting from a core sales increase of
$217 million (10%), an increase in sales from acquired businesses
(net of divestitures) of $60 million (3%), and favorable foreign
currency translation of $51 million (2%).

Operating profit for the full year 2011 was $42.3 million compared
to $235.2 million in 2010.  Excluding Special Items, 2011
operating profit increased 29.3% to $314.2 million compared to
$243.1 million in 2010, and operating profit margin increased to
12.3%, compared to 11.0% in 2010.

Full year 2011 earnings per diluted share declined to $0.44,
compared to $2.59 in 2010.  Excluding Special Items, 2011 earnings
per diluted share increased 32% to $3.43 compared to $2.59 in

Order backlog was $778 million at December 31, 2011 compared to
$768 million at December 31, 2010.

"We are pleased to report a record full year EPS of $3.43,
excluding Special Items, in line with our most recently issued
guidance and significantly better than the $2.80-$3.00 range for
2011 that we expected a year ago," said Crane Co. president and
chief executive officer, Eric C. Fast.  "Excluding Special Items,
full year operating margin was 12.3%, a substantial improvement
over 11.0% in 2010, and we expect to achieve our 13% operating
margin target in 2012. The more stable trends we have experienced
over the last several years enable us to extend our reserve for

Fourth Quarter 2011 Special Items

As of December 31, 2011, the Company extended the time horizon of
its estimate of asbestos liability from 2017 to 2021, reflecting
stabilization in key trends, such as indemnity and defense costs
and the number of claims filed against the Company.  The following
table shows the Company's estimate of its asbestos liability, net
of insurance reimbursements and net of tax, of $277 million prior
to extending the timeframe of the liability estimate; the $157
million effect of the extension; and the total of $434 million as
of December 31, 2011.

The Company estimates that its annual, after-insurance, after-tax
cash outflow associated with its asbestos liability will generally
be in the $40 - $50 million range through 2021, similar to the
level of outflow experienced during 2010 and 2011. Additional
information on the Company's asbestos liability exposure is
available in its Form 8-K filed with the SEC as of this report.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company increased its environmental
liability for its legacy Superfund Site in Goodyear, Arizona by
$30 million ($20 million after tax), reflecting changes in site
remediation requirements and accrued costs through 2016.

Cash Flow and Financial Position

Cash provided by operating activities in the fourth quarter of
2011 was $84.8 million, after the effect of a $30 million
discretionary pension contribution made in December, compared to
$74.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Free cash flow (cash
provided by operating activities less capital spending) for the
fourth quarter of 2011 was $77.8 million, compared to $66.8
million in the fourth quarter of 2010.  For the full year 2011,
cash provided by operating activities was $149.8 million compared
to $133.5 million in 2010.  Free cash flow for the full year 2011
was $115.1 million, compared to $112.5 million in the prior year,
in line with our October guidance before discretionary pension
contributions; discretionary pension contributions were $30
million and $25 million, respectively, in 2011 and 2010.  The
Company repurchased 1,706,903 shares of its common stock during
2011 at a cost of $80 million, including 650,773 shares in the
fourth quarter for $30 million.  The Company's cash position was
$245 million at December 31, 2011, as compared to $211 million at
September 30, 2011.

Fourth quarter 2011 sales increased $10.9 million, or 7%,
reflecting a $12.7 million increase (13%) in Aerospace Group sales
and a decrease of $1.8 million (3%) in Electronics Group revenue.
The Aerospace sales growth reflected higher OEM and aftermarket
activity, with an increase in both commercial and military related
demand.  Segment operating profit increased by 17% and margins
improved to 22.6% as the higher volume and margins in the
Aerospace Group offset the modest decline in the Electronics

Aerospace & Electronics order backlog was $411 million at December
31, 2011 compared to $409 million at September 30, 2011 and $431
million at December 31, 2010.

Segment sales of $45.0 million were equal to the fourth quarter of
2010, with slightly lower sales to recreational vehicle
manufacturers offset by higher sales to transportation and
building products customers.  Operating profit and margins
improved to $4.6 million and 10.1%, respectively, primarily
reflecting the impact of higher selling prices and improved

Merchandising Systems sales of $86.2 million increased $10.1
million, or 13%, primarily reflecting sales associated with the
December 2010 acquisition of Money Controls.  Operating profit and
margins increased reflecting improved operating results in both
Vending and Payment Solutions, including a positive contribution
from Money Controls.

Fourth quarter 2011 sales increased $35.8 million, or 13.7%, which
included a core sales increase of $29.9 million (11.4%), an
increase in sales from the acquisition of W. T. Armatur (WTA) of
$4.8 million (1.9%), and favorable foreign currency translation of
$1.0 million (0.4%).  The sales increase was broad based across
Fluid Handling and operating margin improved to 13%.  Fluid
Handling order backlog was $314 million at December 31, 2011,
compared to $329 million at September 30, 2011 and $272 million at
December 31, 2010.

Fourth quarter 2011 sales of $30.9 million increased 3%, driven by
continued improvement in industrial, transportation and upstream
oil and gas related end markets.  The operating profit increase
reflected leverage of the higher sales volume.

Full Year 2012 Guidance

Sales for 2012 are expected to increase approximately 3-5% driven
by a core sales increase of 5-6%, incremental sales from the WTA
acquisition of less than 1%, partially offset by unfavorable
foreign exchange of approximately 2%. Our 2012 earnings guidance
is a range of $3.75 - $3.95 per diluted share, reflecting revenue
and profit growth across all of our segments.  On a comparable
basis and before Special Items, 2011 earnings per diluted share
were $3.43.  Segment-specific sales and operating profit guidance
will be provided at our Investor Day conference on February 16,
2012.  The Company's 2012 free cash flow (cash provided by
operating activities less capital spending) guidance of $160 -
$190 million includes the effect of asbestos related cash flows.

The Company will hold its annual Investor Day conference on
Thursday, February 16 in New York City from 8:30 am to noon and
will be available on the web at http://www.craneco.com/

                           About Crane Co.

Crane Co. is a diversified manufacturer of highly engineered
industrial products.  Founded in 1855, Crane provides products and
solutions to customers in the aerospace, electronics, hydrocarbon
processing, petrochemical, chemical, power generation, automated
merchandising, transportation and other markets.  The Company has
five business segments: Aerospace & Electronics, Engineered
Materials, Merchandising Systems, Fluid Handling, and Controls.
Crane has approximately 11,000 employees in North America, South
America, Europe, Asia and Australia.  Crane Co. is traded on the
New York Stock Exchange "CR".

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Paterno Might Have Been Exposed to Toxic Fibers
Tim Povtak at The Mesothelioma Center relates that the small-cell
lung cancer that killed legendary former Penn State football coach
Joe Paterno may have been caused by a long-ago exposure to

Paterno, a non-smoker, died Sunday, Jan. 22, 72 days after he was
diagnosed with what his son called a "treatable" lung cancer.

The Mount Nittany Medical Center, where Paterno died, announced
that Paterno died of "metastic small-cell carcinoma of the lung,"
an extremely aggressive form of cancer.

Just as stunning as the speed of Paterno's decline was the remote
possibility of Paterno getting this particular terminal disease.
Non-smokers account for an estimated 15% of lung cancers, but
almost none of those are the small-cell variety that Paterno had.

"It's extremely rare to have small-cell cancer in a non-smoker,"
Barbara Campling, oncologist at Philadelphia's Kimmel Cancer
Center, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Small-cell lung cancer accounts for only 13% - 15% of all lung-
cancer diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society, and
almost all are, or were, smokers.  Paterno was neither.

Outside of smoking, the only other risk factors for small-cell
lung cancer that experts have agreed upon are second-hand smoke,
being exposed to radon, or being exposed to asbestos, the
naturally occurring mineral that was used so extensively in the
20th century.

Although government regulations the past three decades have
reduced dramatically the use of asbestos in new commercial and
industrial products, it remains prevalent in homes, offices,
stadiums and a myriad of products built before 1980.

The exposure to asbestos fibers, which are unknowingly inhaled
into the lungs, can cause a variety of respiratory illnesses,
which can have a latency period of up to 50 years after exposure.

Paterno, 85, coached for 46 years at Penn State, where he became
the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history with 409
victories, two national championships and 37 post-season bowl
games.  More than 250 of his players reached the National Football

His legendary career, though, ended when he was fired Nov. 9 amid
a child-abuse sex scandal involving his longtime assistant coach,
Jerry Sandusky.  Although Paterno never was implicated in the
scandal, although he failed to call the police when informed of
the abuse in 2002, forever scarring his reputation.

Paterno, one of the most famous coaches in all of sports, had
built his program on a motto of "Success with Honor," always
staying above the unsavory side of major college football.

Two days after he was fired, during a follow-up visit to treat
what he believed was a bronchial illness, he was diagnosed with
small cell lung cancer.  A week later, his family issued a
statement announcing the lung cancer, but without the grim

"Doctors are optimistic he will make a full-recover," read the
family statement.

Small-cell lung cancer usually starts in the breathing tubes in
the center of the chest.  Cancer cells grow rapidly and create
large tumors, which often spread quickly to other parts of the
body, making it inoperable.  And much like mesothelioma, a small-
cell diagnosis usually is not made until the latter stages because
symptoms don't present themselves very clearly.

Paterno began chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which can be
effective with small-cell lung cancer, but they were too toxic for
his body and may have contributed to the speed of his decline.  He
fell at his home and fractured his pelvis Dec. 11.

He went back to the hospital Jan. 13, due to complications from
the cancer treatments.  He died nine days later.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 60-Day Jail Term Too Light, Says Union President
CBC News reports that a Metro Vancouver employer who repeatedly
exposed his demolition workers to asbestos has been sentenced to
60 days in jail.

Arthur Moore was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday, Jan. 24
for contempt after ignoring court orders that he halt all
demolition work after failing several times to provide protection
for his workers while they handled asbestos.

Lawyers from B.C.'s Workers Compensation Board had asked that
Moore be sent to jail for six months to one year.

"Thankfully, at least one time in all the time I've been in this
province, an employer is going to jail for basically giving the
death sentence to a whole lot of workers," B.C. Federation of
Labour president Jim Sinclair said after the sentence was handed

But Sinclair said the 60-day jail term is too light a punishment,
and called on the Crown to pursue criminal charges against Moore.

"The system is still fundamentally broken," Sinclair said.
"[Moore] should have been charged with criminal neglect as soon as
he did it."

Moore often hired recovering addicts -- some as young as 14 --
then knowingly exposed them to asbestos without adequate
protective equipment, according to court documents.

His business operated in Surrey and other cities under the name AM
Environmental, Tri City Hazmat, Surrey Hazmat, Pro Scan
Environmental and other names.

A warrant was issued for Moore's arrest in October.

"Over the last few years, he has exposed at least 50 different
workers to asbestos products in the demolition," said Lee Loftus,
spokesman for the B.C. and Yukon Building and Construction Trades

"This is going to be a pretty rare opportunity to see an employer
that does this type of stuff actually go to jail for what he is

Loftus said he has worked in the asbestos industry and found it
"atrocious" that someone would operate a demolition business in
the way Moore did.

On average, 50 B.C. workers a year die from cancer and other
illnesses caused by workplace asbestos exposure, Loftus said.

The installation of asbestos fiber as insulation was halted in
most of North America in the 1970s due to extensive evidence of
its toxicity.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Belluck & Fox LLP Wants Canadian Mines Closed
Workers have stopped digging deadly asbestos fibers from Canadian
mines for the first time in 130 years, and a descendant of the man
who started the country's first asbestos mine recently called for
a permanent end to the country's involvement in the trade,
according to the Montreal Gazette.  New York mesothelioma attorney
Joseph W. Belluck agrees.

"Too many lives in America and around the world have already been
lost due to asbestos exposure," said Belluck, a partner in the New
York City personal injury firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP.  "To protect
people from more asbestos-related diseases, the asbestos that
remains in the Canadian mines should be left in the ground."

At one point in the 20th century, Canadian mines were the source
of 85% of the world's supply of asbestos -- a carcinogenic product
that has caused countless deaths from mesothelioma and other
asbestos-related cancers and diseases.

As of 2010, Canada was responsible for about 5% of worldwide
asbestos production, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
That supply was cut off when the last two asbestos mines in the
Canadian province of Quebec stopped operations in 2010.

While this marked the first time in since the 1880s that no
asbestos was mined in Canada, it might not be a permanent halt.
In a Canadian Press article, the president of one of the mining
companies insisted that his mine is not closed.  It is merely
awaiting a loan guarantee from the Quebec government so it can
access new deposits that could turn out asbestos for another 50
years, he said.

However, many in Canada are urging the government to bar the
asbestos mines from resuming operations, including Susan Henry,
whose family founded Canada's first asbestos mine in 1878.  Henry
told the Montreal Gazette last week that she is participating in a
letter-writing campaign that calls on the government to end the
country's exportation of asbestos.

Belluck, the New York mesothelioma lawyer, supported the
activists' calls for keeping the Canadian asbestos mines

"I have seen the tragic consequences that asbestos has had for
countless people in this country who were exposed to the cancer-
causing fibers.  It is simply inconceivable that our neighbor
would still allow companies to mine and export asbestos when its
tragic consequences are so clear," Belluck said.

His firm represents victims of asbestos exposure who have
developed diseases related to the substance.  One type of cancer
caused by asbestos is mesothelioma, a disease that often lies
latent for decades after exposure before aggressively attacking
victims' ability to breathe.  There is no known cure for
mesothelioma, and most patients die less than two years after

Because asbestos-related diseases usually cause rapid
deterioration after symptoms appear, Belluck said it is important
for patients to seek prompt medical help from specialists.  They
should also contact a qualified mesothelioma attorney for
aggressive legal representation to ensure that they and their
families secure all of the compensation they are entitled to

                  About Belluck & Fox, LLP

Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally recognized law firm that
represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as
well as victims of crime, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other
serious injuries.  The firm provides personalized and professional
representation and has won over $400 million in compensation for
clients and their families.

Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is
listed in Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine's "Best
Lawyers in the New York Area" and in Super Lawyers.  Mr. Belluck
has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective
medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent
asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.

Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma
attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New
York Magazine's "Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and to Super
Lawyers.  On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as
the National Law Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.  He
recently secured verdicts of $32 million and more than $19 million
on behalf of individuals who had contracted mesothelioma from
asbestos exposure.

In September, Belluck & Fox, LLP, won a coveted spot on a list of
America's best law firms, which was published jointly by U.S. News
& World Report and Best Lawyers magazine.  The listing showcased
8,782 different law firms ranked in one or more of 81 major
practice areas.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firm Cites Fewer Cases But Higher Jury Awards
Danziger & De Llano, a leading Houston law firm specializing in
asbestos-related liability cases, reports that 2011 saw a
continuation of a decade long trend toward fewer such cases
nationwide but higher individual jury awards.

And Houston is broadly in line with these national trends, says
Danziger & De Llano partner Paul Danziger -- paul@dandell.com

"As more companies bring their work site operations into full
compliance with asbestos safety laws there has been a dividend in
lives saved," notes Danziger.  "Sadly, though, there are also
fewer victims of past asbestos abuse who survive each passing
year."  Danziger adds that courts have been more successful in
reducing the backlog of asbestos cases in recent years.

The figures on asbestos related liability cases compare the years
2001 and 2011.  According to Danziger, whose law practice handles
cases from across the entire nation, while the total number of
cases in the nation's courts have fallen by roughly 20% in that
period -- today's jury awards are up to two times greater than
those of 2001.

"More public awareness of lax past safety practices in industry,
along with legislation which better safeguards worker rights, have
helped juries arrive at damage awards which are much more
appropriate," he notes.  "Part of the dynamic helping push jury
awards up is the greater availability of public information on
asbestos dangers."

Danziger's own law firm sponsors Mesocare.org, a public service
website with links to resources available to families affected by

                About Danziger & De Llano

In practice since 1993, the law firm of Danziger & De Llano
provides legal assistance to those who have suffered loss due to
the negligent actions of others.  For more information visit their
Web site at http://www.mesothelioma.us/or phone 1-800-747-4060.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: A.W. Chesterton and 61 Others Face Lawsuit
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a woman is
suing 62 companies she claims are responsible for her father's

On Jan. 7, 2010, Carl Richard Butler, Sr., was diagnosed with
esophageal cancer, from which he died on April 18, 2011, according
to a complaint filed Dec. 30, 2011, in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Deidra G. Hill claims the defendants exposed her father to
asbestos and/or asbestos-containing products during his career as
a machinist, laborer and pipefitter.

The defendants knew or should have known of the dangers of
asbestos and failed to warn Butler, according to the suit.

Hill is seeking a jury trial to resolve all issues involved.  She
is being represented by James A. McKowen --
jmckowen@jfhumphreys.com -- and Bronwyn I. Rinehart --

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.

The 62 defendants named in the suit are A.W. Chesterton Company;
Allied Chemical Corporation; Armstrong International, Inc.; Aurora
Pump Company; Brand Insulations, Inc.; BWIP, Inc.; Catalytic
Construction Company; Certainteed Corporation; Chicago Pump
Company; Cleaver-Brooks, Inc.; Columbus McKinnon Corporation;
Crane Co.; Crown Cork & Seal USA, Inc.; Dezurik, Inc.; Dravo
Corporation; Flowserve FSD Corporation; Flowserve US, Inc.; FMC
Corporation; Foseco, Inc.; Gordon Gasket & Packing; Goulds Pumps,
Inc.; Greene Tweed & Company; Grinnell, LLC; I.U. North America,
Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation;
Industrial Supply Solutions; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Insul
Company, Inc.; ITT Corporation; Kentucky Power Company; Lockheed
Martin Corporation; McJunkin Corporation; Morgan Engineering
Systems, Inc.; Mueller Steam Specialty; Nagle Pumps, Inc.; Nitro
Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Oglebay Norton Company; Ohio Valley
Insulating Company, Inc.; Pneumo Abex Corporation; Premiere
Refractories, Inc.; Reading Crane; Riley Power, Inc.; Roper Pump
Company; Rust Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering & Construction,
Inc.; Schneider Electric USA, Inc.; Spirax Sarco, Inc.; State
Electric Supply; Sterling Fluid Systems (USA), LLC; the
AllianceMachine Company; the F.D. Lawrence Electric Company; the
William Powell Company; UB West Virginia, Inc.; United Engineers &
Constructors; Viking Pump, Inc.; Vimasco Corporation; Warren
Pumps, Inc.; West Virginia Electric Supply; WT/HRC Corporation;
Yarway Corporation; and Zurn Industries, Inc.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-2327

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Travelers Wins $420.4 million Ruling in NY
Ben Berkowitz at Thomson Reuters News & Insight reports that a New
York appellate court affirmed a $420.4 million ruling in favor of
insurer Travelers Cos, handing it a victory in one of the longest-
running and most complex asbestos-related litigations in history.

The dispute has to do with the obligations of certain reinsurers
to Travelers, which joined in payments of nearly $1 billion to
cover asbestos claims against the company Western MacArthur.
Travelers subsequently sought to recover some of its payments from
its reinsurance companies.

Among those reinsurers is the U.S. unit of industry leader Munich
Re and units of the insurer and reinsurer ACE Ltd.  A spokeswoman
for Munich Re Americas declined to comment.  An ACE spokesman
could not immediately be reached for a comment.

In October 2010 a lower New York court ruled that the reinsurers
were obliged to help cover Travelers.  That ruling was affirmed on
appeal on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

The Appellate Division, First Department, ruled 4-1 that the
reinsurance companies were bound by a concept known as the "follow
the fortunes doctrine," which holds that reinsurers share the
burdens taken on by the insurance companies with which they do

The appellate court found that the lower court "correctly
determined that the follow-the-fortunes doctrine required
defendants to accept the reinsurance presentation made by
(Travelers unit) USF&G."

A Travelers spokesman could not immediately comment on the ruling.

The facts behind the case date to 1948, when USF&G first wrote a
liability insurance policy for Western Asbestos Co.  By the late
1970s, people harmed by asbestos began to sue Western Asbestos'
successor company, Western MacArthur, which in 1993 sued USF&G and
two other insurers seeking indemnification.

In 2002, the sides reached a settlement, which resulted in Western
MacArthur going into bankruptcy.  USF&G then sought
indemnification from its reinsurers.

The one dissenter in Tuesday's ruling was Justice Sheila Abdus-
Salaam, who said there was a genuine dispute as to whether some of
the settlement USF&G reached with Western MacArthur was subject to
the reinsurance treaties.

Besides the length of the litigation, the case is notable because
of the high-profile law firms involved.  Travelers was represented
on the appeal by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, while Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen & Katz represented Munich Re and Boies, Schiller &
Flexner represented ACE.

The case is United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company vs. American
Re-Insurance Co, New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First
Department, No. 604517/02.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lung Cancer in Carolina Textile Workers Rising
About Mesothelioma.net reports that researchers report that
textile workers in North Carolina and South Carolina who were
exposed to asbestos had significantly increased incidence of lung
cancer.  Asbestos, a mineral fiber used in thousands of products
from building materials to textiles, is associated with serious
respiratory diseases including asbestosis, a scarring of the lung,
lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung
and abdomen.

In the new study published in January issue of the journal
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers tracked the
status of more than 6,100 textile workers who had been employed at
four Carolina textile mills that previously used asbestos in
manufacturing.  From the 1950s through the early 1970s, textile
plants converted chrysotile asbestos, typically imported from
Canada, and cotton fibers into yarn and woven materials.  That
created an occupational hazard of asbestos exposure for
unsuspecting textile workers, who typically did not wear any
breathing protection.

The researchers, based at the University of Nebraska, Duke
University and the University of North Carolina, reported a
significantly elevated rate of death from lung cancer among the
textile workers as compared to the general population.  They
determined that 3,356 of the textile workers employed in the mills
had died as of 2003, and a disproportionate number had died of
lung cancer, according to death certificate data.

The researchers also found a strong correlation between the
increased mortality rate of lung cancer and the workers'
cumulative occupational exposure to asbestos.  The cumulative
exposure to asbestos varied considerably among the four plants.
Exposure to asbestos usually occurs by breathing air in workplaces
contaminated with microscopic asbestos fibers or swallowing
asbestos fibers.  Typically, workers do not experience symptoms of
mesothelioma or other asbestos disease for 20 years to 40 years
after exposure to asbestos.

Another study published last year in the journal Lung Cancer found
that textile workers in China who were exposed to asbestos had an
increased risk of dying of lung cancer, mesothelioma and all forms
of cancer.  The trend was most pronounced among textile workers
who had a high exposure to asbestos and also were smokers.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: $600MM Thorpe Settlement Trust Ruling Reversed
Tim Hull at Courthouse News Service reports that insurance
companies can challenge a $600 million trust created to settle
thousands of asbestos-related claims against a California
insulation company, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Burdened by some 2,000 asbestos-related lawsuits and with more on
the horizon, Thorpe Insulation and its subsidiary, Pacific
Insulation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2007.

A family-owned company, Thorpe installed and removed asbestos-
insulation products in Southern California from the late 1940s to
the early 1970s in both industrial and commercial buildings.
During the last 30 years, it has faced about 12,000 lawsuits for
wrongful death and personal injury; since 1978, its insurers have
paid out more than $180 million defending and settling such
claims, according to the ruling.

A Los Angeles federal judge approved a reorganization plan for the
companies in 2009 that established the Thorpe Insulation
Settlement Trust to handle present and future asbestos-related
claims.  Thorpe's settlements with 13 insurers funded the trust
with more than $600 million in cash and securities, the ruling

But objections came from insurance companies that had refused to
settle with Thorpe -- Continental Insurance Co., National Fire
Insurance Co. of Hartford, Motor Vehicle Casualty Co., Central
National Insurance Co. of Omaha and Century Indemnity Co.  Among
their various claims, the insurers said that the court approved a
settlement built in bad faith by attorneys with conflicts of

U.S. District Judge Dale Fisher affirmed the plan nonetheless,
finding that it pre-empted any state-law contracts among the non-
settling insurance companies.  At any rate, those companies did
not have standing to challenge the plan in bankruptcy or federal
court because it was "insurance neutral, Fisher said.

But the federal appeals court in Pasadena reached a different
conclusion.  Though the three-judge panel agreed that the plan
overrides state-level contracts, it reversed as to standing on
Jan. 24.

"Appellants argue that the plan is not insurance neutral because
of possible preclusive effects of the plan, because they are
responsible for claims channeled to the trust, because the trust
permits direct file suits against appellants, because they are a
contingent beneficiary of the trust, and because the plan and
trust distribution procedure can be changed without court
supervision," Judge Ronald Gould wrote for the unanimous panel.
"We conclude that the plan may economically affect appellants in
substantial ways.  A plan is not insurance neutral when it may
have a substantial economic impact on insurers."

"Because the plan had likely effects that would increase economic
exposure of the insurer appellants to asbestos claimants, they had
a right to be heard fully and fairly before the plan was
finalized," Gould added.

On remand, the District Court should "return the case to the
bankruptcy court to give appellants the opportunity to present
their proof and argument."

As the plan is already in motion, Gould acknowledged that this
decision throws a wrench into the proceedings.

"There is no entirely tidy way to resolve this case because the
plan has proceeded without stay and without full input from
insurer parties who will be economically affected by the plan," he
wrote.  "But we have concluded that the starting place is for us
to reverse the judgment of the District Court, and to remand to
the District Court with instructions that it remand to the
bankruptcy court to permit appellants to submit their proof on all
issues they previously preserved."

No one with the Thorpe Insulation Settlement Trust was immediately

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Issues Halt Dearborn Towers Liquidation
Jessica Carreras at the Dearborn Patch reports that the planned
sale of the Dearborn Towers has hit a road block, Mayor Jack
O'Reilly confirmed.

A concern over asbestos in the property has caused the need for
further inspection before a deal is reached with any buyer.

The city publicly announced its intention to sell the Clearwater,
FL, retirement property in late 2010, after voters approved the
move in 2007.  Prospective buyers were numerous, according to the

But Mayor O'Reilly explained that an evaluation of the property is
needed "to determine how (the asbestos) will impact remodeling and
what is the extent of it."

While evaluation costs will likely be in the tens of thousands,
the city is also taking a hit to revenues -- and to the general
fund -- long as the property is still in their possession.

City Council on Jan. 24 approved an insurance contract for the
facility in the amount of $136,647.87 plus applicable taxes.  The
amount is a $5,000 increase from last year.  However, Council
President Tom Tafelski said that the city was advised to keep it
insured "until we sell it and/or decide what the final course of
action is."

According to a budget memo written by O'Reilly in advance of the
fiscal year 2011-12 budget approval, expenses for Dearborn Towers
exceeds income by $200,000 to $300,000 each year.  Additionally,
it is expected that working capital for the property will be used
up by December 2012.

As of 2011, the towers had a 33% vacancy rate.

The $6 million of revenue expected to be generated by the sale of
the towers was included in the city's FY 2011-12 budget -- meaning
that the continued delay of the sale could leave the city with an
even larger gap to close as they balance the budget for FY 2012-

ASBESTOS UPDATE: CPSM Updates Information on Automotive Products
Clapper Patti Schweizer & Mason are mesothelioma attorneys who,
for more than 30 years, have been representing professional and
home mechanics who have been injured by automotive products
containing asbestos.  Having seen the devastation a diagnosis of
mesothelioma causes to mechanics and their families, CPSM aims to
provide the latest rules and regulations that can help prevent
exposure and protect those in the industry from asbestos related

CPSM has updated the section on their website devoted to auto
mechanics and clutch and brake repair workers, adding all the
essential information about the Better Brakes Rule, a recently
passed law in Washington that applies to the automotive industry.

While the use of asbestos was becoming more and more regulated in
the United States in the mid to late 1980's, asbestos continued to
be added to brakes and clutches long past this time.  The risk of
exposure to mechanics remains high as millions of older model cars
contain asbestos parts and asbestos clutch linings, brake pads and
shoes can still be found in the aftermarket.  This puts
professional as well as home mechanics at risk of deadly exposure
which decades later can develop into serious asbestos related

The Better Brakes Rule, overseen by the Department of Ecology
seeks to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic materials to not
only protect human health but also that of the environment.
Contamination occurs when repairing or removing asbestos products
as well as in the general wear and tear that causes break down of
parts, leaving deposits of toxic materials on roadways that
eventually end up in streams, rivers and water sources.

To prevent this, the basic provisions of the Better Brakes Rule,
according to Ecology, are:

(i) Brake pads and shoes manufactured after January 1, 2014, must
not contain asbestos, hexavalent chromium, mercury, cadmium, or
lead.  Auto shops and other distributors of brakes will be able to
sell any existing inventory for ten years.

(ii) Brake pads manufactured after January 1, 2021, must not
contain more than 5% copper by weight.

(iii) Beginning in 2015, Ecology will review relevant information
and consult with a committee of experts to determine if
alternative brake friction materials, containing less than 0.5
percent copper, are available.

(iv) Eight years after Ecology determines that alternative brake
friction materials are available, brake pads containing more than
0.5% copper may not be sold in the state.

(v) Brake manufacturers will use accredited laboratories and
certify to Ecology that their brake pads and shoes comply with the
law and will mark proof of certification on all pads and packaging
offered for sale in Washington.

(vi) Ecology will track data provided by manufacturers to ensure
that concentrations of nickel, zinc, and antimony in automobile
brake pads do not increase by more than 50%.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Ct. Favors Crane Co. in Liability Suit
Crane Co. and Warren Pumps LLC made valves and pumps used in U.S.
Navy warships.  The companies were sued for wrongful death of
Patrick O'Neil who served in the Navy.  Mr. O'Neil's death was
allegedly caused by asbestos released from external insulation and
internal gaskets and packing, all of which were made by third
parties and added to the pumps and valves post sale.  This case
asks if a product manufacturer is liable for injuries caused by
adjacent products or replacement parts that were made by others
and used in conjunction with the manufacturer's product.

In a Jan. 12, 2012 memorandum and opinion, Justice Carol Corrigan
of the Supreme Court of California ruled that a product
manufacturer may not be held liable in strict liability or
negligence for harm caused by another manufacturer's product
unless that manufacturer's own product contributed substantially
to the harm, or the manufacturers participated substantially in
creating a harmful combined use of the products.

The Court concluded that the defendants were not strictly liable
for Mr. O'Neil's injuries because (a) any design defect in
defendants' products was not a legal cause of injury to Mr.
O'Neil, and (b) the defendants had no duty to warn of risks
arising from other manufacturers' products.

The case is O'Neil v. Crane Co., No. S177401 (Calif.).  A copy of
Justice Corrigan's Decision is available at http://is.gd/Pju66j
from Leagle.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ill. Ct. Remands Suit vs. Rockwell to State Court
Thomas Perakslis sought damages for lung cancer that he contracted
allegedly as a result of exposure to asbestos during his
employment as a sheet metal worker at the General Dynamics
Shipyard from 1967 until 1973.  The case was filed originally in
the Circuit Court of the Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County,
Illinois, against Rockwell Automation, Inc., individually and as
successor by merger to Allen Bradley Co. and as successor-in-
interest to Reliance Electric.  Rockwell has removed the case to
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
invoking the so-called "federal officer" removal statute pursuant
to Section 1442 of the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

In a Jan. 13, 2012 memorandum and opinion, District Judge G.
Patrick Murphy remanded the case to the Circuit Court for lack of
federal subject matter jurisdiction.

The District Court noted that Rockwell's papers in support of
removal, including the affidavit of Thomas F. McCaffery, a retired
Commander in the involved Navy ship, demonstrate that Rockwell or
its predecessor-in interest were subject to very extensive
supervision by the USN in designing and manufacturing equipment
for military vessels.  However, the District Court held, extensive
governmental supervision, without more, is insufficient to
establish federal officer jurisdiction.

The District Court stated that it is mindful that, because federal
officer removal is rooted in "an anachronistic mistrust of state
courts' ability to protect and enforce federal interests and
immunities from suit," although that jurisdiction is read
"expansively" in suits involving federal officials, it is read
narrowly where, as in this case, only the liability of a private
company purportedly acting at the direction of a federal officer
is at issue.

The case is Perakslis v. 3M Co., Civil No. 11-1111-GPM (Ill.).  A
copy of Judge Murphy's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/OAUhgefrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Denies Summary Judgment in Suit vs. Sovereign
Casa Di Roma Furniture, Inc., alleged asbestos contamination of
the second floor of premises leased by it from Sovereign Bank that
occurred during the replacement of the premises' roof.  Sovereign
moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and approving
its cross-claim for full indemnification from ABF Environmental,
Inc.  Casa Di Roma also moved for summary judgment on the issue of
liability in its favor as against Sovereign.  John Cambio,
subcontractor working on the repairs, also moved for the dismissal
of Casa Di Roma's causes of action insofar as they are directed at
him, individually.

In a Jan. 13, 2012 memorandum and decision, Justice Carolyn E.
Demarest of the Supreme Court in Kings County denied Sovereign's
summary judgment motion after finding that there exists material
and triable issues of fact as to the presence of asbestos at the
leased premises.  Justice Demarest also denied Casa Di Roma's
summary judgment motion holding that there also exists triable
issues of fact regarding alleged negligence in the abatement of
the asbestos and the reasonableness of Sovereign's efforts to
abate the asbestos condition.

The Court granted Mr. Cambio's motion for summary judgment
dismissing Casa Di Roma's causes of action as against him,
individually.  The Court pointed out that there is no showing of
any tort committed by Mr. Cambio nor any violation of any
municipal law upon which liability could be predicated, thus he is
entitled to summary judgment dismissing the complaint as against

With regards to Sovereign's cross claims against ABF, the Court
denied Sovereign's request finding that Sovereign has shown that
it was not negligent and any liability on its part would be purely
statutory and vicarious and ABF has failed to raise a triable
issue of fact, thus Sovereign is entitled to conditional common-
law indemnification as against ABF.

The case is Casa Di Roma Furniture, Inc. v. Sovereign Bank,
40537/07 (N.Y.).  A copy of Judge Demarest's Decision is available
at http://is.gd/oNLgypfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Sealy Corp. Has No Plan to Renovate Plants Yet
Sealy Corporation owns certain factories that contain asbestos.
Current regulations require that the Company remove and dispose of
asbestos if the factory undergoes major renovations or is
demolished.  Although the Company is not required to remove the
asbestos unless renovation or demolition occurs, it is required to
monitor and ensure that it remains stable and is required to
notify any potential buyer of its existence.  The Company has not
recognized asset retirement obligations in its financial
statements for asbestos at any facilities because management
believes that there is an indeterminate settlement date for the
retirement obligation as the range of time over which the Company
may be required to remove and dispose of the asbestos is unknown
or cannot be estimated.  The Company currently has no plans to
demolish a factory or to undertake a major renovation that would
require removal of the asbestos at any of these other facilities.
Management will continue to monitor this issue and will record an
asset retirement obligation if a determinate settlement date
becomes known or estimable which is required in order to estimate
an obligation, according to the Company's January 18, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the fiscal year ended November 27, 2011.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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