/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/120504.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, May 4, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 88


A123 SYSTEMS: Howard G. Smith Files Securities Class Action
ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS: Sanford Wittels Files FLSA Class Action
ALPHATEC: Continues to Face Securities Class Action Suit in Calif.
APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over Double-Billing at e-Stores
APPLE REIT SEVEN: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Suit in New York

BLUE RIDGE: Judge Certifies Paper Mill Class Action
BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: IPO-Related Suit Finally Settled in Jan.
CAGAN MANAGEMENT: Fails to Pay Interest on Deposit, Suit Says
CELL THERAPEUTICS: Inks Deal to Settle Class Action in Wash.
COOK COUNTY, IL: Faces Class Action Over Unlawful Detention

CRUSADER SERVICING: Has Until June 1 to Respond to Class Action
DEX ONE: Expects Securities Suit Settlement Approval in 2Q of 2012
DEX ONE: ERISA Class Action Suit in Illinois Still Pending
DONALDSON CO: Awaits OK of Aftermarket Filters Suit Settlement
DRIL-QUIP INC: Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment

FIVE GUYS: Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval
GMAC MORTGAGE: Kirby McInerney Files Class Action in New York
GOOGLE INC: Faces Shareholder Suit Over Share Reclassification
GOV'T OF GUAM: Judge Certifies Tax Refund Class Action
GREG MORTENSON: Judge Dismisses "Three Cups of Tea" Class Action

INSIGHT ENTERPRISES: Appeal in Securities Class Suit Pending
JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Suit Over Illegal Pre-Payment Penalty
MICROMET INC: Continues to Face Suits Over Amgen Merger
NEW JERSEY: Care Facility Sued Over Depopulation Plan
NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY: Sued Over Claim of Medical Provider's Lien

ORBITZ: Court Dismissed "Peluso" Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction
ORBITZ: Court Denies "McAllister" Suit Dismissal Bid
OVERSTOCK.COM: Appeal from Suit Settlement Order Still Pending
OVERSTOCK.COM: Bid to Dismiss 'Hines' Class Action Suit Pending
PANDA EXPRESS: Faces Minimum Wage Class Action in California

PEOPLES BANCORPORATION: Continues to Face Suit Over SCBT Merger
PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT: Bid to Dismiss 'Schulein' Suit Pending
PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT: Gets Final OK of "Gobel" Suit Settlement
PINNACLE FINANCIAL: Bid to Dismiss 'Higgins' Suit Pending
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Talks to Settle Landowners' Suits Ongoing

RECORDING ACADEMY: Latin Jazz Musicians' Class Action Dismissed
SECOND CHANCE: Eligible Zylon(R) Class Members Can File Claims
SLM CORP: Awaits Ruling on Renewed "Arthur" Suit Deal Approval Bid
SONAE INDUSTRIA: 10,000 People Join Class Action Over Emissions
STEEL DYNAMICS: Antitrust Class Suits Still in Discovery Stage

SUN HEALTHCARE: Wage and Hour Suit in Calif. Settled in Nov.
TICKETMASTER CANADA: June 29 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
UNIVERSAL MUSIC: Apple Objects to Class Action Discovery Request
URS CORP: Continues to Defend Hurricane Katrina-Related Suits
VANGUARD NATURAL: Suit vs. Unit in Texas Still Stayed

VANGUARD NATURAL: Subsidiary Still Faces Class Action in Del.
VANGUARD NATURAL: Defends "Goldstein" Suit Over ENP Acquisition
VANGUARD NATURAL: Penn. Court Orders Dismissal of 'Hysong' Suit
WAL-MART STORES: Sued Over 3,000-Mile Oil Change Recommendation
WHIRLPOOL CORP: Appeals Court Upholds Class Certification Ruling

X-RITE: Shareholder Files Class Action Over Danaher Takeover Bid

                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of GE
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utah App. Ct. Applies Texas Law in Contract Issue
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Grants William Powell Summary Judgment
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Md. Ct. Directs More Discovery in John Crane Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2nd Cir. Allows Law Firm to File Suit v. Quigley

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Crane Co.'s Summary Judgment Motion
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Thermwell's Indemnification Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurer's Claims v. Indian Head May Proceed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Court Overturns Ruling Favoring Hennessy
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Thumbs Down Insurers' Motion for Recon

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Leite Lawsuit Stays in Hawaii Dist. Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: United Fire Had $1.8MM Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Houston Wire Still Defends Exposure Suits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ampco-Pittsburgh Had 8,145 Open Claims Year End
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ampco-Pittsburgh Suit v. Insurers Still Pending

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reading Int'l Expects $12.5MM Removal Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Magnetek Continues to Defend & Pursue Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Still Defends Exposure Lawsuits
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rentech Recorded $311,000 Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Locker Has 38 Unresolved Cases

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prism to Complete Law Library Abatement By May
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colorado College Inn Abatement to Cost $3MM
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stowey Sutton Action Group Releases Report
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers Found in Portadown College Contained
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oak Brook Firm Indicted for 22 Health Violation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMC, CBS and 93 Others Face Lawsuit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carlisle Spokeswoman Praises Abatement Procedure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: HSE Says Payout Hold-Up Affects 15,000 Sufferers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eye Villagers Alarmed Over Eyebury Quarry Plan
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Toxic Flexible Graphite Replaces Asbestos

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Victims Center Calls Out Refinery Workers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: West Ryde Locals Lived Amid Carcinogens For Years
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Has Killed 1,156 In Japan In 14 Yrs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Springfield Rental Owner Exposes Tenants to Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: ILR Praises Introduction of FACT ACT to Congress

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Protesters Say ODA Builds On Contaminated Soil
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abel Plus Begins Chiddix Junior High Abatement
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyer Unsold on Fraud Due to Non-Transparency
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stop Lennar Action Movement Allegations Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Police Union Files Charges Over Exposure Risk

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Begins at The Old Mohawk Tannery
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northampton County Addresses Contamination Issues
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Galway Official Insists Carcinogenic Pipe Is Safe
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bega Valley Proposes Central Waste Facility
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advances Seen In Quest for Mesothelioma Solution

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cabin Full of Carcass Tested for Toxic Fibers
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gillespie Group Gets 4-Classroom Abatement Work
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Media Urged For Coverage Of Liability Bill Issue
ASBESTOS UPDATE: A Review On The John Johnson Mesothelioma Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council Member Stops Abatement Work At PS 29

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suspected Bag of Carcinogens Dumped on Grimsby
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Howard, Brenner & Nass Launches New Website
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers Ruled Out as COD of Ex-Factory Hand
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Pleads Guilty to Health Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Low Level Hazard Declared After Birmingham Blaze

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Holds Contaminated Turbine Due For India


A123 SYSTEMS: Howard G. Smith Files Securities Class Action
The Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, representing investors of A123
Systems, Inc., has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of a
class comprising all persons or entities who purchased the
securities of A123 between February 28, 2011 and March 23, 2012,
inclusive.  The securities fraud lawsuit filed by Law Offices of
Howard G. Smith, Fike v. A123Systems, Inc., et al., Case No. 12-
cv-10657-RGS, is pending in the United States District Court for
the District of Massachusetts before the honorable Richard G.
Stearns.  Any member of the Class described above has until June
1, 2012 to file a motion with the Court to be appointed as Lead

The Complaint alleges violations of federal securities laws
against A123 and certain of its executive officers.  Specifically,
the Complaint alleges that defendants made false and misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company had
severe manufacturing deficiencies at its Livonia, Michigan,
manufacturing facility, which produced defective prismatic cells
that resulted in premature failure of battery modules and packs;
(2) as a result of the defective prismatic cells, A123 would
likely be required -- and incur substantial costs -- to recall and
replace the affected modules and packs, threatening the financial
viability of the Company; and (3), as a result of the foregoing,
the Company's statements were materially false and misleading at
all relevant times.

If you purchased A123 securities during the Class Period described
above, you have until June 1, 2012 to move for Lead Plaintiff
status.  To be a member of the class you need not take action at
this time; you may retain counsel of your choice or take no action
and remain an absent class member.  If you wish to discuss this
action or have any questions concerning this Notice or your rights
or interests with respect to these matters, please contact:

          Howard G. Smith, Esq.
          Law Offices of Howard G. Smith
          3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112
          Bensalem, PA 19020
          Telephone: 215-638-4847
          Toll-Free: 888-638-4847
          E-mail: howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com
          Web site: http://www.howardsmithlaw.com

ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS: Sanford Wittels Files FLSA Class Action
Attorneys from Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP in San Francisco and
Lee Holen Law Office in Anchorage on April 30 filed a class and
collective action complaint in U.S. District Court in Anchorage
against Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc., and Alaska
Communications Systems Holdings, Inc., (Alaska Communications) on
behalf of former employee Laura Lee Peterson and all other
similarly situated sales and marketing employees.  The complaint
details Alaska Communications' serious and longstanding violations
of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Alaska Wage and
Hour Act (AWHA).

"Alaska Communications is one of the state's largest
telecommunications companies, which has systematically denied its
sales and marketing employees basic overtime pay required under
federal and state law, while racking up more than $125 million in
operating profit last year alone," said Janette Wipper --
jwipper@swhlegal.com -- a partner at Sanford Wittels & Heisler and
a lead lawyer for Ms. Peterson and the class.  "Alaska
Communications willfully continues to retain the overtime wages
owed to these employees despite the Alaska Department of Labor's
unambiguous finding that Ms. Peterson was entitled to overtime

Ms. Peterson, a resident of Anchorage, worked for Alaska
Communications for almost eight years, from 2003 until mid-2011,
first as a market analyst, and later in sales positions of
Business Development Manager and Senior Manager of Carrier Sales.
During her entire period of employment, the company deprived her
of overtime pay by misclassifying her as an exempt employee.
During typical workweeks at Alaska Communications, she worked more
than 60 hours, without any overtime compensation.

"Federal and state overtime laws were designed, in part, to serve
the compelling societal goal of reducing unemployment by giving
employers a disincentive to concentrate work in a few overburdened
hands and an incentive to instead hire additional employees." said
Chaya Mandelbaum -- dmarcuse@swhlegal.com -- of Sanford Wittels &
Heisler.  "In today's economic climate, the importance of insuring
that big companies like Alaska Communications are not able to
avoid the incentive to hire by illegally requiring their employees
to work overtime hours without pay cannot be overstated. It's a
lose-lose situation for its employees and the Alaska workforce."

After reviewing Ms. Peterson's overtime wage claim, in November
2011 the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development
determined that she was not an exempt employee of Alaska
Communications and was entitled to unpaid overtime compensation
and liquidated damages; however, the company has refused to abide
by that determination.

Ms. Peterson's complaint asserts federal overtime claims on behalf
of all Alaska Communications employees who worked in a sales or
marketing position below the level of Vice President anywhere in
the United States from April 30, 2009 until the date of judgment.
In addition, she is seeking to recover overtime wages under
Alaska's state law for herself and a class of Alaska
Communications sales and marketing employees who have worked for
the company in Alaska at any time between April 30, 2010 and the
date of judgment.

A jury trial was requested.

               About Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP

Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP, a law firm with offices in
Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco, specializes in
employment discrimination, wage and hour, qui tam and consumer
actions and complex corporate class action litigation.  The firm
has represented thousands of individuals in major class action
cases in the United States.  In addition, the firm also represents
individual clients in employment, employment discrimination,
sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations,
commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters.

ALPHATEC: Continues to Face Securities Class Action Suit in Calif.
Alphatec Holdings, Inc. continues to defend itself from an amended
securities class action complaint filed in a California district
court, according to the Company's March 5, 2012, 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

On August 10, 2010, a purported securities class action complaint
was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California on behalf of all persons who purchased the
Company's common stock between December 19, 2009 and August 5,
2010 against the Company and certain of its directors and
executives alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  On February 17,
2011, an amended complaint was filed against the Company and
certain of its directors and officers adding alleged violations of
the Securities Act of 1933. HealthpointCapital, Jefferies &
Company, Inc., Canaccord Adams, Inc., Cowen and Company, Inc., and
Lazard Capital Markets LLC are also defendants in this action.
The complaint alleges that the defendants made false or misleading
statements, as well as failed to disclose material facts, about
the Company's business, financial condition, operations and
prospects, particularly relating to the Scient'x transaction and
the Company's financial guidance following the closing of the
acquisition.  The complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages,
attorneys' fees, and other unspecified relief.  The Company
believes the claims are without merit and intends to vigorously
defend itself against this complaint; however no assurances can be
given as to the timing or outcome of this lawsuit.

APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over Double-Billing at e-Stores
Chris Marshall at Courthouse News Service reports that Apple
double-bills for purchases at its e-Stores and refuses to issue
refunds to customers who catch them at it, a man claims in a
federal class action.

Robert Herskowitz seeks an injunction and punitive damages for
breach of contract, breach of faith, unjust enrichment, unfair
competition and business law violations.

Mr. Herskowitz claims he bought a single song from the iTunes
store for $1.29, for which Apple charged him twice.

When he brought the error to Apple's attention, he says, the
company responded: "Your request for 'Whatya Want from Me' was
carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms
of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes store are ineligible for
refund. This policy matches Apple's refund policies and provides
protection for copyrighted materials," according to the complaint.

Mr. Herskowitz says the agreement governing use of Apples' e-
Stores "says no such thing."  He claims the policy has "resulted
in substantial numbers of Apple customers throughout the country
having been double billed by Apple."

Apple's refund policy, in the Terms and Conditions to which every
customer must agree to make purchases on Apple's e-stores, states
that Apple does not provide refunds in the event of a price
reduction or promotional offering, Mr. Herskowitz says.

Accordingly, by its own terms, "Apple's 'no refund' policy is
limited to 'the event of a price reduction or promotional

The complaint adds: "Under the agreement, as with any consumer
transaction, Apple may bill customers only once for each product
or service that is purchased. With troubling regularity, however,
Apple has 'double billed' customers for purchases made through the
Apple Stores.  In those cases, when a customer purchases a song,
movie or book, Apple bills that customer twice for the same
download.  Apple, however, has effectuated a policy and practice
of refusing to refund the extra charge to customers whom it has

Apple violates its own terms of agreement as well as California
state and common laws, according to the complaint.

Mr. Herskowitz claims that in addition to the iTunes store, Apple
follows the same illegal policy at its App store, iBookstore and
the Mac App store.

Mr. Herskowitz seeks damages of more than $5 million for a
national class.

A copy of the Complaint in Herskowitz v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 12-
cv-02181 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joseph J. Tabacco, Jr. Esq.
          Christopher T. Heffelfinger, Esq.
          Anthony D. Phillips, Esq.
          One California Street, Suite 900
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 433-3200
          E-mail: jtabacco@bermandevalerio.com

               - and -

          Robert J. Axelrod, Esq.
          100 Park Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 661-1100
          E-mail: rjaxelrod@pomlaw.com

              - and -

          Judd B. Grossman, Esq.
          GROSSMAN LLP
          590 Madison Avenue, Suite 1800
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: (646) 770-7445
          E-mail: jgrossman@grossmanllp.com

APPLE REIT SEVEN: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Suit in New York
An amended consolidated class action complaint involving
purchasers of Apple REIT Seven Inc.'s units was filed against the
Company in New York, according to the Company's March 5, 2012, 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On December 13, 2011, the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York ordered that three putative class
actions, Kronberg, et al. v. David Lerner Associates, Inc., et
al., Kowalski v. Apple REIT Ten, Inc., et al., and Leff v. Apple
REIT Ten, Inc., et al., be consolidated and amended the caption of
the consolidated matter to be In re Apple REITs Litigation.  The
District Court also appointed lead plaintiffs and lead counsel for
the consolidated action and ordered lead plaintiffs to file and
serve a consolidated complaint by February 17, 2012.  The parties
agreed to a schedule for answering or otherwise responding to the
complaint and that briefing on any motion to dismiss the complaint
will be concluded by June 18, 2012.  The Company was previously
named as a party in the Kronberg, et al. v. David Lerner
Associates, Inc., et al. class action lawsuit but was later
dismissed from that action in October 2011.

On February 17, 2012, lead plaintiffs and lead counsel in the In
re Apple REITs Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-02919-KAM-JO,
filed an amended consolidated complaint in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the
Company, Apple Suites Realty Group, Inc., Apple Eight Advisors,
Inc., Apple Nine Advisors, Inc., Apple Ten Advisors, Inc., Apple
Fund Management, LLC, Apple REIT Six, Inc., Apple REIT Eight,
Inc., Apple REIT Nine, Inc. and Apple REIT Ten, Inc., their
directors and certain officers, and David Lerner Associates, Inc
and David Lerner.  The consolidated complaint, purportedly brought
on behalf of all purchasers of Units in the Company and the other
Apple REIT Companies, or those who otherwise acquired these Units
that were offered and sold to them by David Lerner Associates,
Inc., or its affiliates and on behalf of subclasses of
shareholders in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Florida,
asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933.  The consolidated complaint also asserts claims for
breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary
duty, negligence, and unjust enrichment, and claims for violation
of the securities laws of Connecticut and Florida.  The complaint
seeks, among other things, certification of a putative nationwide
class and the state subclasses, damages, rescission of share
purchases and other costs and expenses.

BLUE RIDGE: Judge Certifies Paper Mill Class Action
Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a federal judge has certified
as a class-action lawsuit another in a decades-long series of
court battles between residents of Cocke County and a western
North Carolina paper factory.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer is allowing a class of 300
residents who live along the Pigeon River to pursue legal action
against the Blue Ridge Paper Products Inc., mill in Canton, N.C.,
for allegedly dumping waste into the waterway.  The residents all
live downstream from the factory.

The lawsuit is one of many attorney Gordon Ball has filed against
the plant in the last three decades on behalf of Cocke County
residents who allege the paper mill is polluting the Pigeon River
and causing them all manner of harm as a result, from health
problems to lowered property values.

Judge Greer set an Oct. 2 trial.

BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: IPO-Related Suit Finally Settled in Jan.
Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. settled in January a
consolidated class action lawsuit brought against the Company in
connection with its initial public offering of securities,
according to the Company's March 2, 2012, 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended January 28, 2012.

On July 20, 2001, the first of a number of putative class actions
for violations of the federal securities laws was filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
against Brocade, certain of its officers and directors, and
certain of the underwriters for Brocade's initial public offering
of securities.  A consolidated amended class action captioned, In
re Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, No. 01 Civ. 6613, was filed on April 19,
2002.  The complaint generally alleged that various underwriters
engaged in improper and undisclosed activities related to the
allocation of shares in Brocade's initial public offering and
seeks unspecified damages for claims under the Exchange Act on
behalf of a purported class of purchasers of common stock from May
24, 1999 to December 6, 2000.  The lawsuit against Brocade was
coordinated for pretrial proceedings with a number of other
pending litigations challenging underwriter practices in over 300
cases as In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21
MC 92 (SAS), including actions against McDATA Corporation, Inrange
Technologies Corporation (which was first acquired by Computer
Network Technology Corporation and subsequently acquired by McDATA
as part of the CNT acquisition), and Foundry Networks LLC
(formerly Foundry Networks, Inc.), and certain of each entity's
respective officers and directors, and initial public offering

These actions have been resolved by a global settlement of the
coordinated litigation in January 2012, under which the insurers
pay the full amount of settlement share allocated to the Brocade
Entities, and the Brocade Entities bear no financial liability.

CAGAN MANAGEMENT: Fails to Pay Interest on Deposit, Suit Says
John Massey, Nicole McCurdy, Robert Nellis, Joseph Pascente,
individually and as representative of a class of similarly
situated persons v. Cagan Management Group, Inc., and Norstates
Bank, Case No. 2012-CH-15857 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., April 30,
2012) is brought pursuant to the Chicago Residential Landlord and
Tenant Ordinance of the Chicago Municipal Code.

The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants violated the Ordinance
by failing to pay interest on their security deposit after it was
tendered to Norstad Bank.  They assert that the Defendants
similarly have failed to pay interest on the security deposits
paid by other tenants in the buildings they own, which are subject
to the Ordinance.

The Plaintiffs are residents of Chicago, Illinois.

Cagan Management is a corporation in Cook County, Illinois.
Norstates Bank, is a bank in Waukegan, Illinois.  Cagan Management
is the managing agent for properties owned by Norstates Bank.  The
Defendants are the owners and "landlord" of the buildings and the
Plaintiffs were tenants.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Michael D. Spinak, Esq.
          SPINAK & BABCOCK, P.C.
          134 N. LaSalle, Suite 700
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 346-1337

CELL THERAPEUTICS: Inks Deal to Settle Class Action in Wash.
Cell Therapeutics Inc. in February entered into an agreement to
settle a securities class action lawsuit in Washington, according
to the Company's March 1, 2012, 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the month ended February
29, 2012.

On March 12, 2010, plaintiff Cyril Sabbagh filed a complaint in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington, captioned Cyril Sabbagh v. Cell Therapeutics, Inc.,
Dr. James A. Bianco, M.D., and Dr. Jack W. Singer, M.D., No. C10-
414 MJP.  By Court Order dated August 2, 2010, the case was
consolidated with all other related actions then pending, and
ordered to proceed under the caption In re Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
Class Action Litigation, No. C10-414 MJP.  By the same Order,
Plaintiffs Satish Shah, David Gipson, and Xavian L. Draper were
appointed Lead Plaintiffs, Brower Piven was appointed Lead
Counsel, and Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP was appointed
Liaison Counsel.

On September 27, 2010, Lead Plaintiffs filed their Consolidated
Amended Class Action Complaint for Violation of the Federal
Securities Laws alleging false and misleading statements by
Defendants in connection with, inter alia, the approval process
for one of CTI's drugs, Pixantrone.  Defendants filed their motion
to dismiss Lead Plaintiffs' Complaint on October 27, 2010; the
Court denied Defendants' motion in large part on February 4, 2011.

On October 26, 2011, the parties participated in mediation with
the Honorable Nicholas H. Politan (Ret.) presiding. During the
course of this mediation, the parties reached an agreement-in-
principle to resolve this Action.

On February 13, 2012, the Company entered into a Stipulation of
Settlement pursuant to which the Company and certain of its
current officers and directors have, subject to certain conditions
and approvals, agreed to settle the consolidated securities class
action litigation.

COOK COUNTY, IL: Faces Class Action Over Unlawful Detention
Jack Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that Cook
County keeps innocent people locked up for hours in a "bullpen"
after a jury acquits them, illegally detaining them and exposing
free and innocent citizens to violence, a class action claims in
Cook County Court.

Lead plaintiff Brian Otero sued Cook County and its Sheriff,
Thomas J. Dart, seeking declaratory judgment, an injunction, costs
and damages for civil rights violations.

Mr. Otero says he was arrested on Nov. 23, 2009 and charged with
burglary and held until trial, as he could not make back.  He says
he was acquitted of all counts on July 21, 2011, and had not
outstanding warrants, but the county kept him locked up for
another 12 hours, to "process" him for release.

"While being detained, held in custody and imprisoned in the
bullpen, other inmates asked plaintiff about the outcome of his
trial," the complaint states.  "After informing the prisoners that
he had been found not guilty and would be leaving jail, one of the
prisoners punched and pummeled plaintiff about the face and body.
Plaintiff sustained physical injuries as a result of the jailhouse
beating he suffered while being detained by defendants after his

"Plaintiff did not report the beating to defendants because he was
afraid he would somehow catch another charge as a result of being
beaten in the bullpen, and his release would be delayed further.

"The policy or practice followed by defendants for detaining
individuals who are found not guilty or who are otherwise
acquitted at trial or other proceeding causes an unreasonable
length and manner of detention in violation of the Constitution.
Among other things, defendants' policy or practice is to detain
individuals such as plaintiff and class members with the general
prison population, which not only substantially and unnecessarily
increases the procedural steps for processing out an individual,
but also creates a serious risk that the individual will be the
victim of a violent assault.  Even though defendants no longer
have probable cause or any other right to detain or investigate
individuals who were found not-guilty or who were otherwise
acquitted, defendants' policy or practice is to hold such
individuals in custody pending the completion of a post-release
check for wants and holds.  This is a laborious and time consuming
process that unnecessarily prolongs an individual's detention and
which could have been done during the individual's detention prior
to his or her not-guilty verdict or acquittal.  These and other
aspects of defendants' policies or practices results in a post-
acquittal detention of individuals that is unreasonable in both
length and manner and, therefore, is unconstitutional."

Mr. Otero also seeks punitive damages for unlawful detention, and
an order requiring Cook County to implement a post-acquittal
program that does not violate civil rights.

A copy of the Complaint in Otero v. Dart, Case No. 12-cv-03148
(N.D. Ill.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert M. Foote, Esq.
          Matthew J. Herman, Esq.
          Michael D. Wong, Esq.
          3 N. Second Street, Suite 300
          St. Charles, IL 60174
          Telephone: (630)232-6333
          E-mail: rmf@foote-meyers.com

               - and -

          Kathleen C. Chavez, Esq.
          CHAVEZ LAW FIRM, P.C.
          3 N. Second Street, Suite 300
          St. Charles, IL 60174
          Telephone: (630) 232-4480

               - and -

          Peter L. Currie, Esq.
          536 Wing Lane
          Saint Charles, IL 60174
          Telephone: (630) 862-1130

               - and -

          Myron M. Cherry, Esq.
          Jacie C. Zolna, Esq.
          30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2300
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 372-2100

CRUSADER SERVICING: Has Until June 1 to Respond to Class Action
Lillian Shupe, writing for Hunterdon County Democrat, reports that
defendants in a class-action suit initiated by a Lebanon Township
homeowner have until June 1 to file their answers to the

Jeanne Boyer, who has been fighting to save her own home from
foreclosure, filed the suit on behalf of herself and potentially
thousands of other homeowners in similar situations.

Ms. Boyer looks out from the porch of her circa 1820 home on
Musconetcong River Road.  She is fighting a legal battle to keep
her home from being foreclosed on by bankers who are headed to
prison for rigging tax lien sales.

The suit was filed in Hunterdon County Superior Court on March 13
and removed to federal court on March 28.

Ms. Boyer alleges that she is one of many victims of a bid-rigging
scheme that allowed tax lien investors to charge the highest
amount of interest allowed by law. Since the suit was filed, two
more people and a company have pleaded guilty in federal court.
Several pleaded guilty in federal court to Sherman Act violations
by conspiring to eliminate any competition at tax sales.

Among the defendants are Robert W. Stein of Huntington Valley,
Pa., who is president of Crusader Servicing Inc. which bought
Ms. Boyer's tax lien certificate.

Ms. Boyer was about to lose her home on Musconetcong River Road
unless she came up with a total of $113,500 by March 15.  Of that
amount, more than $64,000 is accumulated interest.  However,
Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone granted a temporary
restraining order in light of a class action suit initiated by
Ms. Boyer through attorney Michael Perle.  A decision on a motion
to extend the injunction until the class action suit is resolved
is still pending.

According to the suit, the victims of the tax sale scheme are
usually elderly, disabled or victims of a bad economy and unable
to pay burgeoning tax bills.  The unscrupulous investors came in,
purchased the debt at tax sales and were able to charge exorbitant
interest fees. If the homeowners could not pay the grossly
inflated bills, the investors ended up with their homes.

Tax sale foreclosures do not require the subject property to be
sold at auction, as would happen if the mortgage was not paid.
When a mortgage is not paid, a Sheriff's sale is held and if the
sales price exceeds what is owed to the lender, the property owner
would get the remaining funds.

Crusader Servicing purchased the lien and allegedly since it was
the only bidder -- thanks to the conspiracy among the investors --
Crusader was allowed to charge the maximum 18% interest.

Once an investor buys the first tax sale certificate, it can pay
subsequent taxes due if the homeowner again does not pay on time,
and the interest rate is automatically set at 18% under the law.
There are also other one-time penalties assessed on the overdue

In August 2002, Crusader then paid the taxes due for the first
three quarters of that year, automatically getting additional
liens (at 18% interest) against Ms. Boyer's home without having to
go through a tax sale and without providing any notice to Boyer,
according to the suit.

When Ms. Boyer tried to redeem the certificate in January 2004,
she said she was told the total amount due at the time was more
than $24,000, payable in one lump sum.

In 2008 Crusader began the foreclosure process.

According to the suit, "it's the "unlawful accumulation of
interest at 18% (now in excess of $64,000), not the amount of tax
liability itself, which is the obstacle Boyer cannot surmount."

Up to 100 other unidentified investors are named as defendants.
Lebanon Township and its tax collector are also named as
defendants but the suit notes that they could join the suit as

The class action suit seeks to vacate Ms. Boyer's tax sale
certificate as well as certificates for other members of the

An answer to the complaint was originally due by April 18 but the
deadline was extended until June 1.  An initial conference is
scheduled in federal court on May 15.

On April 23, David Butler of Cherry Hill entered a guilty plea.  A
charge was also filed against DSBD LLC, a New Jersey company
responsible for managing tax lien investments in which Mr. Butler
had a partnership interest.  Under the plea agreements, which are
subject to court approval, Mr. Butler and DSBD have each agreed to
cooperate with the department's ongoing investigation.

According to the Department of Justice, from at least as early as
the beginning of 2005 until approximately February 2009,
Mr. Butler and his company participated in a conspiracy to rig

On April 17, a former executive of a New York-based tax liens
company who supervised the purchasing of municipal tax liens at
auctions in New Jersey pleaded guilty for his role in the
conspiracy, according to the Department of Justice.

Stephen E. Hruby of Hainesport admitted to participating in the
bid rigging as early as December 2002 until about February 2009.
A total of nine guilty pleas have resulted from the investigation.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust
Division's New York Field Office and the FBI's Atlantic City, New
Jersey Resident Agency.

DEX ONE: Expects Securities Suit Settlement Approval in 2Q of 2012
Dex One Corporation is expecting court approval in the second
quarter of this year of an agreement calling for the settlement of
a securities class action complaint filed against its current and
former officers in Delaware, according to the Company's March 1,
2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Beginning on October 23, 2009, a series of putative securities
class action lawsuits were commenced against certain current and
former Company officers in the United States District Court for
the District of Delaware on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the Company's publicly traded securities
between July 26, 2007 and the time the Company filed for
bankruptcy on May 28, 2009, alleging that such officers issued
false and misleading statements regarding the Company's business
and financial condition and seeking damages and equitable relief.

On August 19, 2010, an amended consolidated class action complaint
was filed as the operative securities class action complaint.  The
Company is not named as a defendant in the Securities Class Action
Complaint.  On December 30, 2011, the parties to the Securities
Class Action Complaint entered into a memorandum of understanding
containing the essential terms of a settlement of all disputes
between them.  On February 17, 2012, a formal stipulation of
settlement was filed with the court.  Pursuant to the stipulation
of settlement, in exchange for a complete release of all claims,
the Company's director's and officer's liability insurers will
create a $25 million settlement fund for the benefit of the
settlement class.  The stipulation of settlement is subject to
court approval, which the Company expects to receive during the
second quarter of 2012.

DEX ONE: ERISA Class Action Suit in Illinois Still Pending
A putative ERISA class action lawsuit filed against Dex One
Corporation's current and former officers and employees in
Illinois is still pending, according to the Company's March 1,
2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 7, 2009, a putative ERISA class action lawsuit was
commenced in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois on behalf of certain participants in, or
beneficiaries of, the R.H. Donnelley 401(k) Savings Plan at any
time between July 26, 2007 and the time the lawsuit was filed and
whose plan accounts included investments in R.H. Donnelley common
stock. The putative ERISA class action complaint contains
allegations against certain current and former directors, officers
and employees similar to those set forth in the Securities Class
Action Complaint as well as allegations of breaches of fiduciary
duties under ERISA and seeks damages and equitable relief. The
Company is not named as a defendant in this ERISA class action.
The Company and its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries
believe the allegations set forth in the ERISA class action are
without merit and are vigorously defending the suit.

R.H. Donnelley Corporation and R.H. Donnelley Inc. are direct
wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company.

DONALDSON CO: Awaits OK of Aftermarket Filters Suit Settlement
Donaldson Company, Inc. is awaiting court approval of a
settlement resolving class action lawsuits filed against the
Company and 11 other filter manufacturers in 2008, according to
the Company's March 1, 2012, 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended January 31,

The Company has reached a preliminary agreement to settle the
class action lawsuits filed in 2008 alleging that 12 filter
manufacturers, including the Company, engaged in a conspiracy to
fix prices, rig bids, and allocate U.S. Customers for aftermarket
automotive filters.  The U.S. cases have been consolidated into a
single multi-district litigation in the Northern District of
Illinois.  The Company denies any liability and has vigorously
defended the claims raised in these lawsuits.  The settlement will
fully resolve all claims brought against the Company in the
lawsuits and the Company does not admit any liability or
wrongdoing.  The settlement, which has been accrued for by the
Company, is still subject to Court approval and will not have a
material impact on the Company's financial position, results of
operations or liquidity.

DRIL-QUIP INC: Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment
A court has granted in January Dril-Equip, Inc.'s motion for
summary judgment dismissing all claims asserted against it in
various proceedings related to the Deepwater Horizon incident,
according to the Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2011.

On April 22, 2010, a deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico drilling rig
known as the Deepwater Horizon, operated by BP Exploration &
Production, Inc., sank after an explosion and fire that began on
April 20, 2010.  The Company is a party to an ongoing contract
with an affiliate of BP to supply wellhead systems in connection
with BP's U.S. Gulf of Mexico operations, and the Company's
wellhead and certain of its other equipment were in use on the
Deepwater Horizon at the time of the incident.

The Company was named, along with other unaffiliated defendants,
in nine class action lawsuits and ten other lawsuits arising out
of the Deepwater Horizon incident. These actions were filed
against the Company between April 28, 2010 and March 11, 2011 and
were consolidated, along with hundreds of other lawsuits not
directly naming the Company, in the multi-district proceeding In
Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of
Mexico, on April 20, 2010. The lawsuits generally allege, among
other things, violation of state and federal environmental and
other laws and regulations, negligence, gross negligence, strict
liability, personal injury and/or property damages and generally
seek awards of unspecified economic, compensatory and punitive
damages and/or declaratory relief.

The judge presiding over the MDL Proceeding is also presiding over
a separate but related proceeding filed by affiliates of
Transocean Ltd. under the Limitation of Liability Act in the
federal court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. On February
18, 2011, Transocean filed a Third-Party Complaint, tendering the
Company to the plaintiffs/claimants in the Limitation Action,
which had the procedural effect of making the Company a defendant
in over 100,000 claims filed by plaintiffs in the Limitation

In April and May 2011, Transocean, Cameron International
Corporation, Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., M-I, LLC,
Weatherford U.S. LP and Weatherford International, Inc. each filed
cross claims against the Company in the MDL Proceeding and/or in
the Limitation Action, generally seeking subrogation and/or
contribution from the Company and alleging negligence, comparative
fault and strict liability for manufacturing, design and marketing
defects by the Company. In May 2011, Transocean filed a Third-
Party Complaint against the Company, impleading it into an action
brought by the United States in connection with the Deepwater
Horizon incident against Transocean, BP and certain of its
affiliates, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and certain of its
affiliates, and MOEX Offshore 2007, LLC as "Responsible Parties"
under OPA and for violations of CWA, which alleged comparative
fault and strict liability for manufacturing, design and marketing
defects by the Company and generally seeks subrogation and/or
contribution from the Company. In June 2011, BP and its affiliate
BP America Production Company filed counterclaims against the
Company in the MDL Proceeding and in the Limitation Action
generally seeking subrogation and/or contribution from the

On January 20, 2012 the judge presiding over the MDL Proceeding,
the Limitation Action and the U.S. government's action against
"Responsible Parties" under OPA, issued an order that granted the
Company's Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed all claims
asserted against the Company in those proceedings with prejudice.

The Company intends to continue to vigorously defend any
litigation, fine and/or penalty relating to the Deepwater Horizon
incident. To date, no liability has been accrued in conjunction
with these matters.

FIVE GUYS: Class Action Settlement Gets Preliminary Approval
DiSabato & Bouckenooghe LLC obtained preliminary settlement
approval in a class action lawsuit against the popular Five Guys
Burgers & Fries restaurant chain for the sale of gift cards in the
state of New Jersey which contain dormancy fee provisions and
expiration provisions in alleged contravention of New Jersey's
Gift Card Act.  The lawsuit, captioned Mitchell Storch v. Five
Guys Enterprises LLC et al., Docket No. MRS-L-116-11, was filed on
behalf of a class of New Jersey consumers who purchased Five Guys
branded gift cards containing dormancy fee provisions or
expiration provisions on or after April 4, 2006 in the State of
New Jersey.

On April 17, 2012, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division,
Morris County, granted conditional certification of the settlement
class and preliminary approval of the settlement in the Storch
action.  Members of the settlement class may be entitled to a Five
Guys gift card in an amount of up to $50.00 redeemable at Five
Guys restaurant locations in New Jersey.

The claim period runs from April 27, 2012 through May 29, 2012. To
obtain a detailed copy of the full Notice of Settlement, or to
download your Claim Form, visit

As stated by Five Guys in the approved Notice of Class Action and
Proposed Settlement, Five Guys denies any wrongdoing and any
liability whatsoever and maintains that it has never charged a
dormancy fee for any gift card and that it has never treated a
gift card as expired.  However, Five Guys concluded that it was in
its best interests to settle the Storch Action in order to avoid
expense, inconvenience, and interference with ongoing business

Any questions concerning the Storch Action, the Storch Settlement
or the Claim Form should be directed to Class Counsel, DiSabato &
Bouckenooghe LLC at 973-813-2525 or ddisabato@disabatolaw.com with
reference to the "Storch Action."

Contact:  David J. DiSabato, Esq.
          Lisa R. Bouckenooghe, Esq.
          DiSabato & Bouckenooghe LLC
          4 Hilltop Road, Mendham, NJ 07945
          Telephone: (973) 813-2525
          E-mail: ddisabato@disabatolaw.com
          Web site: http://www.disabatolaw.com

GMAC MORTGAGE: Kirby McInerney Files Class Action in New York
The law firm of Kirby McInerney LLP has filed a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York against GMAC Mortgage, LLC and Balboa
Insurance Company in connection with an allegedly unlawful
kickback scheme involving force-placed insurance.  The case is
brought on behalf of a putative class consisting of all
residential mortgage borrowers who have been charged costs
associated with force-placed insurance in connection with loans
serviced by GMAC at any time from March 6, 2003 to the present.
The case alleges that GMAC, a mortgage loan servicer, extracted
kickbacks or bribes from Balboa, a provider of force-placed
insurance coverage, which artificially inflated reimbursements
sought by GMAC from borrowers.

To protect the lenders' interest in secured property, mortgage
loan contracts require the borrower to maintain specified levels
of hazard insurance.  If the borrower's coverage lapses, the
lender is entitled to purchase coverage for the home, "force
place" it, and be reimbursed by the borrower for the cost.

Beginning in March 2003, GMAC entered into an agreement to buy
force-placed insurance coverage with respect to its mortgage loan
servicing portfolio from Balboa.  Plaintiff alleges that GMAC, as
a quid pro quo for awarding Balboa its force-placed insurance
business, has required Balboa to pay GM kickbacks.  These
kickbacks have been in the form of bogus "commissions" paid to a
GMAC affiliate, "GMAC Agency Marketing," an unincorporated
division and/or fictitious "doing business as" name of defendant
GMAC Insurance Marketing, Inc.  Plaintiff alleges that Balboa
agreed to label these payments as "commissions" -- and to funnel
them through GMAC Agency Marketing -- to disguise their true
nature as bribes or kickbacks.

Plaintiff asserts that defendants' kickback scheme has improperly
inflated the reimbursements sought from borrowers with respect to
force-placed insurance on GMAC-serviced loans.  This is because
the stated premiums with respect to which GMAC has sought
reimbursement have been fraudulently "grossed up" to include the
kickbacks.  The amounts of the kickbacks have then been repaid by
Balboa to GMAC in round-trip transactions that have no legitimate
business purpose.  The net charge -- i.e., the stated premiums
minus the kickbacks -- represents the true or actual price or cost
of the insurance.

The lawsuit alleges that the owners of the loans serviced by GMAC
have also been harmed by the kickback scheme.  All servicing
agreements entitle servicers such as GMAC to recoup any advances
they incur from loan proceeds "off the top" before any money is
passed through to the owners of the loans.  Premiums on force-
placed insurance constitute reimbursable servicing advances under
all such agreements.

The complaint alleges that GMAC, in its capacity as loan servicer,
has reimbursed itself with respect to force-placed insurance based
not on its actual costs but instead on the artificially inflated,
fraudulently grossed-up premiums charged to borrowers.  In other
words, it is alleged that GMAC, in recouping its supposed
servicing advances before passing money through to the owners of
the loans, has not netted out the amounts of the kickbacks that it
has received from Balboa, but has instead included the full
amounts of the stated premiums, inflated by the kickbacks.  As a
result, to the extent borrowers have failed to pay, the owners of
the loans have borne those fraudulently inflated costs in the form
of reduced proceeds and higher loss severities at liquidation.  In
practice, this means that the profits reaped by GMAC as a result
of the scheme alleged herein have come from the pockets of the
pension funds that invest in the mortgages in GMAC's servicing
portfolio and -- in the case of loans in the portfolio owned by
Fannie Mae and other Government Sponsored Enterprises -- from the
pockets of United States taxpayers.

"The practice of inflating force-placed insurance costs through
kickbacks is parasitic, abusive and, we believe, illegal," stated
Kirby McInerney LLP partner Mark Strauss -- mstrauss@kmllp.com
"Recently, Fannie Mae clarified that its guidelines have never
permitted this practice, which is a form of equity stripping that
has saddled taxpayers and homeowners with improper costs,
unnecessarily pushed homeowners into foreclosure, and exacerbated
the housing crisis."

The complaint alleges claims under the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 1961, et seq., and
state law.

If you are homeowner who has been charged for force-placed
insurance by GMAC or any other servicer, if you have information
or would like to learn more about these claims, or if you wish to
discuss these matters or have any questions concerning this
announcement or your rights with respect to these matters, please
contact Kirby McInerney LLP partner Mark Strauss at (212) 371-6600
or at mstrauss@kmllp.com

Kirby McInerney LLP -- http://www.kmllp.com-- is a New York-based
plaintiffs' law firm concentrating in securities, whistleblower,
antitrust and consumer litigation.

GOOGLE INC: Faces Shareholder Suit Over Share Reclassification
Brockton Retirement Board, Individually and on Behalf of all
Others Similarly Situated v. Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Eric E.
Schmidt, L. John Doerr, Diane B. Greene, John L. Hennessy, Ann
Mather, Paul S. Otellini, K. Ram Shriram, Shirley M. Tilghman and
Google Inc., Case No. 7469- (Del. Chancery Ct., April 27, 2012) is
brought on behalf of Google shareholders, other than the
Defendants, for breaches of fiduciary duty arising from an alleged
effort to reclassify the Company's shares.

The Reclassification effort is a thinly veiled attempt to entrench
Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as dominant
shareholders of Google by creating a nonvoting class of Google
stock to preserve their voting power into perpetuity, Brockton
alleges.  Brockton contends that under the Reclassification, all
shareholders will receive a dividend of non-voting "Class C" stock
in what amounts to a 2-for-1 stock split, while keeping voting
proportions unchanged.  Brockton insists that this distribution of
non-voting stock will allow Google to purchase other companies or
issue stock to employees without diluting the Founders' voting
power or diminishing their iron-clad grip over the Company's
management and operations, which includes the ability to appoint
the entire Board of Directors.

Douglas Appell, writing for Pensions & Investments, reports that
in a telephone interview, lawyer Jeffrey C. Block --
jeff@blockesq.com -- said Google's plan effectively serves to
cement the control of Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey
Brin over the company.  Mr. Block is a partner with the law firm
of Block & Leviton, which is representing the $320.6 million
pension plan.

The complaint notes that, under an existing two-class share
system, where the public owns A shares with one vote per share and
Google executives have B shares with 10 votes per share, Messrs.
Page and Brin already control 56.3% of overall voting power
despite owning only slightly more than 20% of outstanding shares.

Earlier in April, Google's board approved what amounts to a 2-for-
1 stock split, with each existing shareholder set to receive a new
C share, with no voting rights.  The new shares will likewise be
used for equity-based employee compensation or potential

In a letter to shareholders in April, Messrs. Page and Brin said
the old two-class share system succeeded in preventing outside
parties from "unduly influencing our management decisions," but
the risk remained that equity-based compensation and stock-based
acquisitions would dilute management's control.  While conceding
that "some people . . .  won't support this change," the founders
insisted the new system will allow Google's management team to
continue making decisions for the long term that will benefit the
company and its shareholders.

Brockton's complaint counters that the proposed Class C shares
will only entrench the founders in power and insulate them "from
having to pay attention to the views of the shareholders who own
the vast majority of the shareholder equity."

The two "wish to retain this power, while selling off large
amounts of their stockholdings," the complaint alleges.

The lawsuit seeks to halt the issuance of a new Google share class
with no voting rights and seeks undetermined damages should the
plan go forward.

Google spokeswoman Willa Lo couldn't immediately be reached for

Brockton is a Google shareholder.

Google, a Delaware corporation, maintains its corporate
headquarters in Mountain View, California.  The Individual
Defendants are directors and officers of the Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert D. Goldberg, Esq.
          921 N. Orange Street
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 655-9677
          Facsimile: (302) 655-7924
          E-mail: goldberg@batlaw.com

               - and -

          Jeffrey C. Block, Esq.
          Jason M. Leviton, Esq.
          Mark A. Delaney, Esq.
          155 Federal Street
          Boston, MA 02110
          Telephone: (617) 398-5600
          Facsimile: (617) 507-6020
          E-mail: Jeff@blockesq.com

GOV'T OF GUAM: Judge Certifies Tax Refund Class Action
Mindy Aguon, writing for KUAM News, reports that several taxpayers
who filed a class action lawsuit against the government for the
payment of tax refunds have been granted their request to certify
the class.  Ria and Jeffrey Paeste and Sharon and Glenn Zapanta
filed the lawsuit last year asking the court to order the
government to pay tax refunds on a timely basis.

Judge Consuelo Marshall granted the motion to certify the class
noting that the plaintiffs provided uncontested evidence that tens
of thousands of taxpayers have waited years for their refunds.
The law firms of Lujan, Aguigui and Perez and Girard Gibbs have
been appointed the class counsel.

The Government of Guam has moved to dismiss the case.

GREG MORTENSON: Judge Dismisses "Three Cups of Tea" Class Action
Lori Grannis and Mary Slosson, writing for Reuters, report that a
federal judge dismissed a class-action fraud lawsuit on April 30
against Greg Mortenson, co-author of bestselling book "Three Cups
of Tea," that accused him of fabricating much of his story about
promoting education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The lawsuit, which also targeted Mr. Mortenson's co-author,
publisher and his non-profit Central Asia Institute, alleged
fraud, deceit and unjust enrichment over what the plaintiffs said
was fabricated material intended to "induce unsuspecting
individuals to purchase his books and to donate" to his institute.

But U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed the case for what he
said was the "imprecise, in part flimsy, and speculative nature of
the claims and theories advanced" by the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2011 following a critical report by
CBS television's "60 Minutes" program that challenged the
credibility of biographical details in Mr. Mortenson's memoir.

In particular, the "60 Minutes" report disputed his account of
being kidnapped in Pakistan's Waziristan region in 1996, and said
his institute, founded to build schools for girls in Afghanistan
and Pakistan, was largely being used to promote the book.

The book chronicles Mr. Mortenson's unsuccessful attempt to climb
the mountain K2 in South Asia and his encounter with impoverished
Pakistani villagers who he said inspired him to build schools and
other projects in the region.

It stayed on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list for
four years.

The Central Asia Institute said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters
that it was "invigorated" by the decision.

"Greg is on his way overseas. Our dual mission continues
unabated," said Anne Bayensdorfer, executive director of the
institute, adding: "Greg stands by the stories in his books."

After a year-long investigation by the Montana attorney general
also spurred by the "60 Minutes" report, Mr. Mortenson
acknowledged that less than half of his institute's proceeds have
gone into building schools but said "much of the remainder was
spent on CAI's other charitable programs."

Earlier in April, Mr. Mortenson agreed in a settlement with the
state attorney general to pay $1 million to compensate his
Montana-based charity for using his non-profit to promote and buy
copies of his books, but he will be allowed to continue providing
education to impoverished communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mr. Mortenson's charity received $100,000 from President Barack
Obama's $1.4 million 2009 Nobel Peace Prize award.  The author and
philanthropist received other support from high-profile backers
and took numerous awards before the April 2011 "60 Minutes"

INSIGHT ENTERPRISES: Appeal in Securities Class Suit Pending
An appeal from a court order dismissing an amended securities
complaint filed in Arizona remains pending in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to Insight Enterprises,
Inc.'s February 24, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,

Beginning in March 2009, three purported class action lawsuits
were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
against the Company and certain of the Company's current and
former directors and officers on behalf of purchasers of its
securities during the period April 22, 2004 to February 6, 2009.
The second amended complaint (the only remaining complaint then on
file) of the lead plaintiff was dismissed with prejudice in
November 2010, and another purported class member plaintiff has
appealed the order of dismissal with prejudice to the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The Company says it has tendered a claim to its D&O liability
insurance carriers, and its carriers have acknowledged their
obligations under these policies subject to a reservation of
rights. Based on the information available at this time, the
Company is not able to estimate the possible loss or range of loss
for the purported class action.

JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Suit Over Illegal Pre-Payment Penalty
Nick McCann at Courthouse News Service reports that a homebuyer
claims in a federal class action that JPMorgan Chase Bank, "unlike
other banks, holds advance principal payments in an undisclosed
suspense account and purposefully delays crediting of such
payments in order to maximize interest accrual on money that,
under the terms of the loans, it has not earned."

Lead plaintiff Kevin Kratzke claims Chase Bank delays crediting
advance payments on principal to increase its profits.  This
amounts to illegal "pre-payment penalties" on advance principal
payments, Mr. Kratzke claims.

He claims "that Chase, unlike other banks, holds advance principal
payments in an undisclosed suspense account and purposefully
delays crediting of such payments in order to maximize interest
accrual on money that, under the terms of the loans, it has not

The 26-page complaint repeatedly refers to "promissory notes,"
which it defines as "a standardized or 'conforming' Freddie
Mac/Fannie Mae secured real estate mortgage and/or deed or trust
(hereinafter referred to as 'Promissory Note') that was issued,
originated and/or services by JPMorgan Chase Bank."

The complaint states that despite promising a borrower's right to
prepay down the principal: "If the lender allows interest to
accrue in a principal balance that is current and has been
provided a 'prepayment' or APP, then interest is unearned by the
lender and the amount of the interest is, in effect, a 'pre-
payment penalty.'"

Mr. Kratzke claims: "Chase's policy and practice shortchanges
borrowers who may make modest advance principal payments on their
mortgages, with the magnified effect of allowing Chase a windfall
in collecting additional payments from continuously accruing
interest.  The net effect to impose a 'pre-payment' penalty in the
form of accepting but holding advance principal payments [is] to
increase the bank's bottom line and to breach its 'order of
payment' crediting agreement found in the standard and conforming
Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae mortgage/deed of trust loans secured in
real estate."

In fact, Mr. Kratzke claims, advance payments of $50 to $100 may
result in small amounts of increased interest.

"(O)ver the course of a 15 or 30 year loan, Chase reaps many
hundreds of dollars in windfall and illegally obtained gains, that
results in thousands and thousands of dollars when the practice is
multiplied over the loan periods and with hundreds of thousands of

Mr. Kratzke also claims Chase purposely programs its computers to
delay crediting loan payments when the loan is current and no
payment is due.

He seeks class damages for breach of contract and unfair and
deceptive trade, an injunction, costs, and a third-party
administrator appointed to facilitate and oversee repayment of the
illegally collected interest.

A copy of the Complaint in Kratzke v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al.,
Case No. 12-cv-02094 (N.D. Calif.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Timothy D. Cohelan, Esq.
          Michael D. Singer, Esq.
          J. Jason Hill, Esq.
          605 C Street, Suite 200
          San Diego, CA 92101-5305
          Telephone: (619) 595-3001
          E-mail: tcohelan@ckslaw.com

MICROMET INC: Continues to Face Suits Over Amgen Merger
Micromet Inc. continues to defend itself from putative class
action lawsuits filed in connection with its proposed merger with
Amgen Inc., according to the Company's March 2, 2012, 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

On January 25, 2012, Micromet entered into an Agreement and Plan
of Merger with Amgen, a Delaware corporation, and Armstrong
Acquisition Corp., a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned
subsidiary of Amgen.  Pursuant to the terms of the Merger
Agreement, and on the terms and subject to the conditions thereof,
among other things, Purchaser has commenced a cash tender offer to
acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Micromet.

Between January 30, 2012 and February 9, 2012, seven putative
class action lawsuits challenging the Merger were filed in the
Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware. On February 29, 2012,
the Delaware Chancery Court denied plaintiff's motion for a
preliminary injunction, in which plaintiffs sought to enjoin the
closing of the Offer.  The Delaware actions, which were
consolidated on February 15, 2012, are captioned: (1) Passes v.
Micromet, Inc., et al., Case No. 7198-VCP; (2) Bohaychuck v. David
Hale, et al., Case No. 7197-VCP; (3) Volpe v. David Hale, et al.,
Case No. 7201-VCP; (4) Draper-Donaldson v. Micromet Technologies,
Inc., et al., Case No. 7208-VCP; (5) Wolf v. David Hale, et al.,
Case No. 7205-VCP; (6) Russell v. Micromet, Inc., Case No. 7210-
VCP; and (7) Louisiana Municipal Police Employees' Retirement
System v. David F. Hale, et al., Case No. 7232-VCP.  On February
3, 2012, plaintiff in the Draper-Donaldson Case voluntarily
dismissed that action without prejudice.  The Passes Case,
Bohaychuck Case, Volpe Case, Wolf Case, Russell Case, and LMPERS
Case are being overseen by Vice Chancellor Parsons in the Court of
Chancery for the State of Delaware.  On February 13, 2012, the
Delaware Chancery Court granted the Delaware plaintiffs' motion to
expedite the proceedings.  The Court's denial of plaintiffs'
motion for a preliminary injunction followed limited discovery and
a hearing on February 27, 2012.

Between January 27, 2012 and February 1, 2012, five putative class
action lawsuits challenging the Merger were filed in the Circuit
Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.  These actions are
captioned: (1) Rush v. Micromet, Inc., et al., Case No. V358302
(the "Rush Case"); (2) Noskoviak v. Micromet, Inc., et al., Case
No. V358455; (3) Osler v. Micromet, Inc, et al., Case No. V358457;
(4) Lang v. Micromet, Inc., et al., Case No. V358476; and (5)
Ludden v. Micromet, Inc., et al., Case No. V358477.  On February
10, 2012, the plaintiffs in the Lang and Ludden Cases filed a
motion to consolidate the Maryland State Court Litigation, and a
motion for temporary restraining order.   On February 21, 2012
Micromet filed a motion to stay the Lang and Ludden cases.  On
February 23, 2012, the plaintiffs in the Lang and Ludden Cases
withdrew their motion for temporary restraining order and agreed
to stay the cases voluntarily.  Accordingly, Micromet withdrew its
motion to stay.

On February 8, 2012, another putative class action lawsuit
challenging the Merger, captioned Raad v. Christian Itin, et al.,
Case No. 8:12-cv-00385-DKC, was filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Maryland.

The Delaware Litigations, the Maryland State Court Litigations,
and the Raad Case are collectively referred to as the "Stockholder

The Stockholder Litigations were filed against the Company, the
individual members of the Board of Directors of Micromet, Amgen
and Purchaser.  The Stockholder Litigations generally allege,
among other things, that the members of the Micromet Board
breached their fiduciary duties owed to the Micromet stockholders
by approving the proposed Merger for inadequate consideration,
entering into the Merger Agreement containing preclusive deal
protection devices, and failing to take steps to maximize the
value to be paid to the Micromet stockholders.  The Ludden Case
and Lang Case also allege as an additional basis for the breach of
fiduciary claim that the members of the Micromet board engaged in
self-dealing when they approved the proposed Merger.  The Raad
Case brings an additional claim against the members of the
Micromet Board under Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 for making false and misleading statements in the Schedule
14D-9. On February 6, 2012 the Passes Case was amended to include
a claim that the members of the Micromet Board breached their
fiduciary duties by failing to make adequate disclosures to
Micromet's stockholders with respect to the Merger.  On February
10, 2012 the Ludden Case and Lang Case were both amended to
include, as an additional basis for the breach of fiduciary
claims, that the members of the Micromet Board made omissions and
misrepresentations in the Schedule 14D-9.  Each of the Stockholder
Litigations also alleges claims for aiding and abetting such
alleged breaches of fiduciary duties against various combinations
of Micromet, Amgen and Purchaser.

NEW JERSEY: Care Facility Sued Over Depopulation Plan
Cheryl Armstrong at Courthouse News Service reports that Gov.
Chris Christie plans to "depopulate" a state-owned woman's home by
sending its mentally disabled residents to uncertified care
centers, the women's guardians say in a federal class action.

Seven named residents of the Vineland Developmental Center sued
Gov. Christie, the Vineland Center, the New Jersey Department of
Human Services, and top-ranking officers in the New Jersey DHS.

Vineland Developmental Center is an Intermediate Care Facility for
the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR) which currently serves 347
residents, 86 percent of whom have been diagnosed with "profound
or severe intellectual disabilities" and 68 percent of whom have
lived there for more than 30 years, according to the complaint.

In May 2011, "defendants announced their plan to 'depopulate' and
close the Vineland Developmental Center and discharge residents to
non-ICF/MR certified, alternative settings," the complaint states.

"Among the reasons indentified by defendants for their
'depopulation' plan was the ostensibly high cost of providing the
necessary services for the disabled residents of the state's
developmental centers."

And they did it dishonestly, according to the complaint:
"Defendants have instructed plaintiffs' treating professionals to
include language in plaintiffs' individual habilitation plans
indicating that Plaintiffs have requested discharge to settings
other than Vineland Developmental Center, regardless of whether
plaintiffs actually communicated such a request," the complaint

It adds: "As part of that plan, defendants also announced that
they would close the West Campus of the Vineland Developmental
Center.  Defendants have taken significant steps in that plan and
their plan to completely close the Vineland Developmental Center,
including transferring and discharging residents without adequate
transition plans, without guardian or residents' full and fair
participation, without treating professionals' independent and
sound assessments, without regard for residents' specific
individual needs and desires, and without regard for the rights of

"Contrary to defendants' public statements, plaintiffs have not
requested discharge or transition from Vineland Developmental

The class claims: "Defendants know or should know of the increased
danger of death, abuse and neglect to which plaintiffs will be
subjected if they are discharged from the Vineland Center in
accordance with defendants' political plan."

The class seeks an injunction preventing the defendants from
transferring residents until a proper, recommended facility and/or
treatment plan has been evaluated and deemed appropriate, and
damages for civil rights violations and violations of the
Americans With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the
Medicaid Act has been paid.

A copy of the Complaint in Carey, et al. v. Christie, et al., Case
No. 12-cv-_____, docketed as Doc. 2658 in Case No. 33-av-00001 on
April 27, 2012 (D. N.J.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Thomas A. Archer, Esq.
          3401 North Front Street
          Harrisburg, PA 17110-0950
          Telephone: (717) 232-5000
          E-mail: taarcher@mette.com

               - and -

          Thomas B. York, Esq.
          Donald B. Zaycosky, Esq.
          Cordelia M. Elias, Esq.
          3511 North Front Street
          Harrisburg, PA 17110
          Telephone: (717) 236-9675
          E-mail: tyork@yorklegalgroup.com

NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY: Sued Over Claim of Medical Provider's Lien
Blagota Premovic and Tomica Premovic, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated v. Northshore University
Healthsystem, an Illinois not for profit corporation, individually
and d/b/a Skokie Hospital, Case No. 2012-CH-15799 (Ill. Cir. Ct.,
Cook Cty., April 30, 2012) is a consumer class action lawsuit
brought on behalf of persons who, from 2002 to the date of
judgment, were treated by Northshore and its affiliated hospitals
and medical facilities.  Northshore allegedly refused to bill the
Plaintiffs' and the Class' health insurance carriers and instead
placed a medical provider's lien for services rendered with the
third party tortfeasors and their liability insurance carrier.

In August 2010, the Plaintiffs were involved in a vehicular
accident and were treated at Skokie Hospital, which had a contract
with their health insurance carrier, Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Illinois.  The Plaintiffs allege that Northshore did not bill
BCBSIL for their treatment but instead asserted a medical
provider's lien against any recovery in their personal injury
claims.  The Plaintiffs argue that Northshore's conduct is
immoral, unfair, unjust, oppressive and unscrupulous.

The Plaintiffs are residents of Cook County, Illinois, and are
citizens of the state of Illinois.

Northshore, an Illinois corporation, provides hospital and medical
services and facilities, individually and under various assumed
names throughout the state of Illinois.  The service provided to
the Plaintiffs by Northshore was at Skokie Hospital, located in
Skokie, Cook County, Illinois.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Larry D. Drury, Esq.
          LARRY D. DRURY, LTD.
          100 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1010
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 346-7950

               - and -

          John H. Alexander, Esq.
          100 W Monroe Street, Suite 2100
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 263-7731
          E-mail: alxfen@aol.com

               - and -

          Robert Langendorf, Esq.
          134 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1515
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 782-5933
          E-mail: rlangendorf@comcast.net

ORBITZ: Court Dismissed "Peluso" Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed in
December an appeal from a lower court order granting Orbitz
Worldwide Inc.'s motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit
against the Company, according to the Company's March 5, 2012, 10-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On October 1, 2010, a putative consumer class action complaint
styled Peluso v. Orbitz.com, et al., was filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  In
the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants
overbilled customers for hotel occupancy taxes and sales taxes
imposed by the City and State of New York and asserts claims for
violation of New York's deceptive business practices statute,
declaratory and injunctive relief, conversion, breach of fiduciary
duty, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.  On October 7,
2010, the case was consolidated with similar cases that were
previously filed against other online travel companies.  On May
31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York granted the motion of Blackstone Group, L.P., Orbitz, LLC,
Cendant Corpoartion, Travelport L.P. Orbitz Worldwide
International, LLC, Orbitz.com, Orbitz Worldwide, LLC, Orbitz
Worldwide, Development, LLC, and Orbtiz Worldwide Inc. to dismiss
the complaint.  The court transferred plaintiff's breach of
fiduciary duty claim to the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.  On July 14, 2011, plaintiff filed her
notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit.  On July 25, 2011, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the
remaining claim pending in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois.  On December 7, 2011, the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed plaintiffs'
appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

ORBITZ: Court Denies "McAllister" Suit Dismissal Bid
The Circuit Court of Saline County, Arkansas, denied the proposed
dismissal of a putative class action complaint involving three
subsidiaries of Orbitz Worldwide Inc., according to the Company's
March 5, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On February 24, 2011, citizen-taxpayers Elizabeth McAllister and
Greg Bowerman filed a putative class action complaint, styled
McAllister v. Hotels.com, L.P., et al., in the Circuit Court of
Saline County, Arkansas against a number of current and former
online travel companies, including Orbitz, LLC, Trip Network, Inc
and Internetwork Publishing Corp. seeking to enjoin defendants to
make reimbursement of monies owed to the State of Arkansas for
hotel taxes collected by defendants and not reported by
defendants, plus interest.  On February 6, 2012, the court denied
defendants' motion to dismiss.

OVERSTOCK.COM: Appeal from Suit Settlement Order Still Pending
An appeal from a court order approving the settlement of a class
action lawsuit against Overstock.com Inc. is pending, according to
the Company's March 2, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31,

On August 12, 2008, the Company, along with seven other
defendants, was sued in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California, by Sean Lane, and seventeen other
individuals, on their own behalf and for others similarly in a
class action suit, alleging violations of the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Video
Privacy Protection Act, and California's Consumer Legal Remedies
Act and Computer Crime Law.

The complaint relates to the Company's use of a product known as
Facebook Beacon, created and provided to the Company by Facebook,
Inc. Facebook Beacon provided the means for Facebook users to
share purchasing data among their Facebook friends. The parties
extended by agreement the time for defendants' answer, including
the Company's answer, and thereafter, the Plaintiff and Facebook
proposed a stipulated settlement to the court for approval, which
would resolve the case without requirement of financial
contribution from us.  On March 17, 2010, over objections lodged
by some parties, the court accepted the proposed settlement.
Various parties objecting to the settlement have appealed and
their appeal is now pending.

OVERSTOCK.COM: Bid to Dismiss 'Hines' Class Action Suit Pending
A motion to dismiss the class action lawsuit filed by Cynthia
Hines is pending in New York court, according to the Company's
March 2, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On March 10, 2009, the Company was sued in a class action filed in
the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Cynthia Hines, the nominative plaintiff on behalf of herself and
others similarly situated, seeks damages under claims for breach
of contract, common law fraud and New York consumer fraud laws.
The Plaintiff alleges the Company failed to properly disclose its
returns policy to her and that the Company improperly imposed a
"restocking" charge on her return of a vacuum cleaner. The Company
filed a motion to dismiss based upon assertions that its agreement
with its customers requires all such actions to be arbitrated in
Salt Lake City, Utah.  Alternatively, the Company asked that the
case be transferred to the United States District Court for the
District of Utah, so that arbitration may be compelled in that
district.  On September 8, 2009 the motion to dismiss or transfer
was denied, the court stating that the Company's browsewrap
agreement was insufficient under New York law to establish an
agreement with the customer to arbitrate disputes in Utah.  On
October 8, 2009, the Company filed a Notice of Appeal of the
court's ruling.  The appeal was denied.

On December 31, 2010, Ms. Hines filed an amended complaint.  The
amended complaint eliminated common law fraud claims and breach of
contract claims and added claims for breach of Utah's consumer
protection statute and various other state consumer protection
statutes. The amended complaint also asks for an injunction. The
nature of the loss contingencies relating to claims that have been
asserted against us.  However, no estimate of the loss or range of
loss can be made. The suit is in final discovery stages.  The
Company filed motions to dismiss and to decertify the class. The
court has not ruled on these motions.  The Company intends to
vigorously defend this action.

PANDA EXPRESS: Faces Minimum Wage Class Action in California
Courthouse News Service reports that Panda Express makes employees
work off the clock and pays less than minimum wage, a class action
claims in Superior Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Romo v. Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.,
et al., Case No. RIC1206398 (Calif. Super. Ct., Riverside Cty.),
is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

         Melissa Grant, Esq.
         Valerie Kincaid, Esq.
         Arnab Banerjee, Esq.
         1800 Century Park East, 2nd Floor
         Los Angeles, CA 90067
         E-mail: mgrant@initiativelegal.com

PEOPLES BANCORPORATION: Continues to Face Suit Over SCBT Merger
Peoples Bancorporation, Inc. continues to defend itself from a
class action lawsuit filed in connection with its proposed merger
with SCBT Financial Corporation, according to the Company's March
1, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 19, 2011, Peoples Bancorporation entered into an
Agreement and Plan of Merger with SCBT.  The Merger Agreement
provides that, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in
the Merger Agreement, the Company will merge with and into SCBT,
with SCBT continuing as the surviving corporation.

On January 18, 2012, two purported shareholders of Peoples filed a
class action lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas for the
Thirteenth Judicial District, State of South Carolina, County of
Pickens, captioned F. Davis Arnette and Mary F. Arnette v. Peoples
Bancorporation, Inc., Case No. 2012-CP-39-0064.  The Complaint
names as defendants the Company, the current members of the
Company's board of directors, who are referred to as the director
defendants, and SCBT.  The Complaint is brought on behalf of a
putative class of shareholders of the Company's common stock and
seeks a declaration that it is properly maintainable as a class
action.  The Complaint alleges that the director defendants
breached their fiduciary duties by failing to maximize shareholder
value in connection with the proposed merger with SCBT and also
alleges that SCBT aided and abetted those breaches of fiduciary
duty.  The Complaint further alleges that the director defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to the Company's shareholders by
improperly securing for themselves certain benefits not shared
equally by the Company's shareholders and by approving certain
terms and conditions in the merger agreement that may be adverse
to potential alternate acquirers of the Company.  The Complaint
seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the completion
of the merger, an accounting to determine damages sustained by the
putative class, and costs including plaintiffs' attorneys' and
experts' fees. Each of the Company and SCBT believes that the
claims asserted in the Complaint are without merit.

PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT: Bid to Dismiss 'Schulein' Suit Pending
Petroleum Development Corporation awaits court approval of its
request to dismiss a class action lawsuit involving former
partnership unit holders, according to the Company's March 1,
2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On December 21, 2011, the Company and its wholly-owned merger
subsidiary were served with an alleged class action on behalf of
certain former partnership unit holders, related to 11 partnership
repurchases completed by mergers in 2010 and 2011.  The action was
filed in United States District Court for the Central District of
California, and is titled Schulein v. Petroleum Development Corp.
The Company was managing general partner for each of these
partnerships and the mergers were each approved by a majority of
the partnership units held by non-affiliated investor partners.
The complaint alleges a claim that the proxy statements issued in
connection with the mergers were inadequate, and a state law
breach of fiduciary duty claim.  On February 10, 2012, the Company
filed a motion to dismiss. The Company believes the suit is
without merit and it intends to defend vigorously.

PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT: Gets Final OK of "Gobel" Suit Settlement
Petroleum Development Corporation obtained in January final court
approval of an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit
involving royalty owners in the Company's West Virginia oil and
gas wells, according to the Company's March 1, 2012, 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

David W. Gobel, individually and allegedly as representative of
all royalty owners in the Company's West Virginia oil and gas
wells, filed a lawsuit against the Company, styled Gobel et al v.
Petroleum Development Corporation, on January 27, 2009, in Circuit
Court of Harrison County, CA No. 09-C-40-2, alleging that the
Company failed to properly pay royalties.  The allegations stated
that the Company improperly deducted certain charges and costs
before applying the royalty percentage.  Punitive damages were
requested in addition to breach of contract, tort and fraud
allegations.  On October 27, 2010, the state court set a trial
date of April 2012.

In April 2011, the Company entered into an oral settlement
agreement with respect to this lawsuit, settling all claims
between the parties for an aggregate payment of $8.7 million.  On
June 15, 2011, subject to court approval, a written settlement
agreement was signed confirming these terms.  On June 30, 2011,
the state court granted initial approval of the settlement
agreement, subject to notice to class members and final court
approval.  Initial notice was then sent to the class members.  The
date for objection by class members was October 24, 2011, with no
objections received.  Final approval of the settlement was
received in January 2012.

PINNACLE FINANCIAL: Bid to Dismiss 'Higgins' Suit Pending
A motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit filed by a
customer against Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc. is pending,
according to the Company's March 2, 2012, 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

During the fourth quarter, a customer of Pinnacle National's filed
a putative class action lawsuit (styled John Higgins, et al. v.
Pinnacle Financial Partners, Inc., d/b/a Pinnacle National Bank)
in Davidson County, Tennessee Circuit Court against Pinnacle
National and Pinnacle Financial, on his own behalf, as well as on
behalf of a purported class of Pinnacle National's customers
within the State of Tennessee alleging that Pinnacle National's
method of ordering debit card transactions had caused customers of
Pinnacle National to incur higher overdraft charges than had a
different method been used.  In support of his claims, the
plaintiff asserts theories of breach of contract, breach of the
implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment
and unconscionability.  The plaintiff is seeking, among other
remedies, an award of unspecified compensatory, pre-judgment
interest, costs and attorneys' fees.  On January 17, 2012,
Pinnacle Financial and Pinnacle National filed a motion to dismiss
the complaint.  As of December 31, 2011, the Company cannot
reasonably estimate the probability of a potential loss, if any,
associated with this litigation and intends to contest this matter

QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Talks to Settle Landowners' Suits Ongoing
Qwest Communications International Inc. continues to negotiate
with plaintiffs in putative class actions related to the
installation of fiber-optic cable to settle the lawsuits,
according to the Company's March 2, 2012, 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

Several putative class actions relating to the installation of
fiber-optic cable in certain rights-of-way were filed against
Qwest on behalf of landowners on various dates and in various
courts in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois (where there is a federal and a state
court case), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
For the most part, the complaints challenge the Company's right to
install its fiber-optic cable in railroad rights-of-way.  The
complaints allege that the railroads own the right-of-way as an
easement that did not include the right to permit the Company to
install its fiber-optic cable in the right-of-way without the
Plaintiffs' consent.  Most of the actions purport to be brought on
behalf of state-wide classes in the named Plaintiffs' respective
states, although two of the currently pending actions purport to
be brought on behalf of multi-state classes.  Specifically, the
Illinois state court action purports to be on behalf of landowners
in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio
and Wisconsin, and the Indiana state court action purports to be
on behalf of a national class of landowners.  In general, the
complaints seek damages on theories of trespass and unjust
enrichment, as well as punitive damages.  On July 18, 2008, a
federal district court in Massachusetts entered an order
preliminarily approving a settlement of all of the actions, except
the action pending in Tennessee.  On September 10, 2009, the court
denied final approval of the settlement on grounds that it lacked
subject matter jurisdiction.  On December 9, 2009, the court
issued a revised ruling that, among other things, denied a motion
for approval as moot and dismissed the matter for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction.  The parties are now engaged in negotiating
and finalizing settlements on a state-by-state basis, and have
filed and received final approval of settlements in Alabama and
Illinois federal court, and in Tennessee state court.  Final
approval also has been granted in federal court actions in Idaho
and North Dakota, to which Qwest is not a party.

RECORDING ACADEMY: Latin Jazz Musicians' Class Action Dismissed
Christopher Morris at Variety and The Associated Press report that
ending a year of sometimes strident public wrangling over the size
of the Grammy Awards, a New York judge has dismissed a class
action filed against the Recording Academy by four Latin jazz

State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey K. Oing granted NARAS' motion to
dismiss the case on April 24.

The suit had followed the academy's announcement last April that
it was reducing the number of Grammy categories from 109 to 78
(Daily Variety, April 7, 2011).  For years, critics both within
and outside of the organization had complained that the awards
process had become unwieldy.

NARAS' decision to slash categories -- which led to the
elimination of several niche genre slots -- was immediately met by
criticism in some quarters, with Latin musician Bobby Sanabria the
loudest dissenter.

In August, Sanabria, Ben Lapidus, Mark Levine and Eugene Marlow
sued the academy, alleging breach of contract and fiduciary duty
(Daily Variety, Aug. 4).

The category cuts were implemented at this year's Feb. 12 Grammys
ceremonies.  A handful of protesters demonstrated near Staples

Reacting to the dismissal, Recording Academy prexy-CEO Neil
Portnow said: "The decision makes it very clear in the eyes of our
legal system that we, as we've said all along  . . . have done all
of the changes that we've made through our process based on our
own rules, regulations and bylaws."

Mr. Portnow added it was unlikely that the academy would reverse
itself on the cuts that have already been made.

SECOND CHANCE: Eligible Zylon(R) Class Members Can File Claims
The offices of Kanner & Whiteley, LLC and Silverman & Morris,
P.L.L.L. have announced the procedures for joining in a class
action claim that has been filed in the bankruptcy case of SCBA,
formerly known as Second Chance Body Armor, Inc.  The Class Claim
involves bulletproof vests manufactured by Second Chance, which
contain the fiber Zylon(R).  The Class Claim states that the vests
failed to meet performance standards for which they were
guaranteed and that the vests were unfit for their intended

Anyone who purchased or used a bulletproof vest manufactured by
Second Chance, which contains the fiber Zylon(R) may be eligible
for a payment up to $750 per vest.  The judge overseeing the
Second Chance bankruptcy has to "allow" or approve the Class Claim
before any payments are made.  Since Second Chance has filed for
bankruptcy, there is only a certain amount of money left to pay
this Class Claim.

Eligible Class Members include anyone who lives in the U.S. who
purchased or used a bulletproof vest manufactured by Second
Chance, which contains Zylon(R).  For those who have already filed
a claim in the bankruptcy case, they are only eligible for a
payment if an objection to their claim was filed and has not
already been resolved.

If the Class Claim is allowed, the exact amount of the payment
will depend on a number of factors including the amount of money
that is awarded by the Court and the number of Class Members who
file valid claims.  Payments will be reduced for those individuals
who previously received a payment as part of the Oklahoma
Settlement in 2005 involving Toyobo Company, Ltd., or whose vest
was paid for in whole or in part by someone else, such as the
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Act Program.

To receive a payment, Class Members must fill out and submit a
Claim Form.  Payments will not be provided until after the Court
allows the Class Claim.  For complete information, including Claim
Forms and instructions for filing a claim, call 1-866-903-0639,
visit http://www.SCBAClass.comor write to SCBA Claims
Administrator, P.O. Box 2680, Faribault, MN 55021-9680.

SLM CORP: Awaits Ruling on Renewed "Arthur" Suit Deal Approval Bid
SLM Corporation is awaiting a court ruling on its renewed motion
for approval of an amended settlement agreement resolving a class
action lawsuit pending in Washington, according to the Company's
February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2011.

On February 2, 2010, a putative class action suit was filed by a
borrower in U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Washington alleging that the Company contacted consumers on their
cellular telephones via autodialer without their consent in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Each violation
under the TCPA provides for $500 in statutory damages ($1,500 if a
willful violation is shown). Plaintiffs were seeking statutory
damages, damages for willful violations, attorneys' fees, costs,
and injunctive relief. On October 7, 2011, the Company entered
into an amended settlement agreement under which the Company
agreed to a settlement fund of $24.15 million. The Company denied
vigorously all claims asserted against it, but agreed to settle to
avoid the burden, expense, risk and uncertainty of continued
litigation. On January 10, 2012, the Court denied, without
prejudice, the Motion for Preliminary Approval of the amended
settlement agreement noting, however, that although the proposed
settlement satisfies the Court's requirement of overall fairness,
the Court expressed concern regarding the proposed form of notice
and other forms to be provided in connection with the settlement.
On February 9, 2012, the Plaintiffs filed a Renewed Motion for
Preliminary Approval addressing the Court's concerns.

SONAE INDUSTRIA: 10,000 People Join Class Action Over Emissions
Luke Traynor, writing for The Liverpool Echo, reports that more
than 10,000 people have joined a massive class law action against
under-fire Merseyside factory Sonae -- on May 1 described as the
biggest in UK legal history.

The ECHO can today exclusively reveal how three solicitor firms
are spearheading a huge judicial case in response to a catalogue
of complaints against the Kirkby woodchip plant.

Families living close to the Moss Lane site have inundated three
separate solicitor firms with complaints about harmful emissions
allegedly coming from the Portuguese company.

Businesses based on nearby Knowsley Industrial Estate have also
lodged claims on behalf of their staff stating they believe
discharges from the plant are responsible for some common ailments
like coughs, streaming eyes, and respiratory problems, but also
some more serious illnesses.

Sonae is under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive
since the death of two workers who fell into machinery 18 months
ago, plus a large blaze last summer and an incident involving the
death of cherrypicker employee Dennis Kay.

In addition, Knowsley council's environmental health department is
examining Sonae's permit after a further fire in January.

Now GT Law in Kirkby, Camps in Birkenhead and MJP Solicitors in
Liverpool are seeking a public liability ruling for their clients.

Around 5,000 people have contacted both GT Law and Camps
Solicitors, with 800 represented by MJP in Liverpool.

Solicitors told the ECHO the figures showed the no-win-no-fee case
against Sonae was set to be the largest in UK legal history.

Queens counsel has been instructed and endorsed the litigation and
will now begin investigations into the allegations.

It has also emerged that GT Law, whose offices are half a mile
from the Sonae chimney, is abandoning their base later this month
because of fears for their employees' health.

The solicitors will break their current lease on Gores Road,
Knowsley Industrial Park, and downsize to move into offices on
Castle Street in Liverpool.

Emma Garner, manager for GT Law, told the ECHO: "We've had
thousands of local residents calling to ask for our services.

"These enquiries have come in over the last year, with many people
believing fumes from the two big fires at Sonae emitted harmful

Shelley Naughton, solicitor for Camps, said: "This case is at the
embryonic stage. Complaints revolve around respiratory, ear, nose,
and throat issues, dermatitis and the long-term aspect of long-
term health affects."

Sonae set to deny health claims

Nigel Graham, managing director, Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd said:
"This issue is being dealt with by our insurance company and their
appointed solicitors. However, we will be appropriately defending
ourselves against those claims made without any substantial
supporting evidence.

"It has also come to our attention that 'claims farmers' working
for local solicitors have been circulating leaflets encouraging
people to come forward, based upon the fabrication that
compensation has already been made to local residents.

"There is absolutely no truth to this, no payments have been made
and it is deliberately misleading the public.  Even our own
employees have been directly approached to make a claim,
indicative of the unfortunate reflection of the claims culture we
live in."

The flyer, obtained by Sonae, purporting to come from a legal
company separate to the three solicitors, and addressed to the
'people of Northwood', reads: "We believe you and thousands of
other residents may be eligible to receive compensation . . . help
us help you."

STEEL DYNAMICS: Antitrust Class Suits Still in Discovery Stage
The parties to an antitrust class action complaint against Steel
Dynamics, Inc. are still conducting discovery, according to the
Company's February 27, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,

The Company is involved, along with eight other steel
manufacturing companies, in a class action antitrust complaint
filed in federal court in Chicago, Illinois that alleges a
conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain and stabilize the price at
which steel products were sold in the United States starting in
2005, by artificially restricting the supply of such steel
products. All but one of the Complaints purport to be brought on
behalf of a class consisting of all direct purchasers of steel
products between January 1, 2005, and the present. The other
Complaint purports to be brought on behalf of a class consisting
of all indirect purchasers of steel products within the same time
period. In addition, on December 28, 2010, the Company and the
other co-defendants were served with a substantially similar
complaint in the Circuit Court of Cocke County, Tennessee,
purporting to be on behalf of indirect purchasers of steel
products in Tennessee. The case has been removed to federal court.
All Complaints seek treble damages and costs, including reasonable
attorney fees, pre- and post-judgment interest and injunctive
relief. On January 2, 2009, Steel Dynamics and the other
defendants filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss all of the direct
purchaser lawsuits. On June 12, 2009, however, the Court denied
the Motion. The parties are currently conducting discovery related
primarily to class certification matters.

The Company says that due to the uncertain nature of litigation,
it cannot presently determine the ultimate outcome of the
litigation, however it has determined, based on the information
available at this time, that there is not presently a "reasonable
possibility," that the outcome of these legal proceedings would
have a material impact on the Company's financial condition,
results of operations, or liquidity.

SUN HEALTHCARE: Wage and Hour Suit in Calif. Settled in Nov.
Sun HealthCare Group Inc. settled  in November last year a class
action lawsuit filed in California by a former employee of its
medical staffing company's subsidiary, according to the Company's
March 1, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

In September 2010, a lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of
California, County of Los Angeles, by a former employee of a
subsidiary of Sun HealthCare's medical staffing company, alleging
violation of various wage and hour provisions of the California
Labor Code.  The Company denies all of the allegations in the
employee's complaint.  The lawsuit, which was filed as a purported
class action on behalf of the former employee and all those
similarly situated, was settled on November 22, 2011.

TICKETMASTER CANADA: June 29 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
The Canadian Press reports that lawyers for Ticketmaster Canada
customers who sued over the company's sales and pricing practices
say there's a tentative settlement of class action suits launched
in four provinces.

If the courts approve the deal, customers who bought qualifying
tickets on http://www.ticketsnow.comwill get automatic refunds,
even though Ticketmaster says it didn't do anything wrong.

The settlement calls for people who bought tickets through the
company's secondary site Tickets Now to get a refund of $36 per
ticket.  The settlement does not cover tickets sold over the
Ticketmaster Web site.

The first of the court hearings required before the settlement can
be finalized will take place in Ontario on June 29.  Other
hearings will be held in Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta.

UNIVERSAL MUSIC: Apple Objects to Class Action Discovery Request
Eriq Gardner, writing for Hollywood Reporter, reports that in
bringing a class-action lawsuit against Universal Music over
digital music revenues, musicians trigger a big objection from

Aftermath Records, a division of Universal Music Group, is about
to go to trial in a case that will determine what money is owed
over digital music to producers of many hit Eminem records.

Meanwhile, in another case -- a class action against UMG brought
by many musicians including Rob Zombie, the estate of Rick James,
and others -- the plaintiffs are demanding to see trial exhibits,
expert reports, depositions and other documents from the Eminem
case.  The discovery request has brought a strong objection from
Apple Inc., which is trying to shield these documents from coming
out.  Among the evidence being sought is a deposition of Steve
Jobs, which when it was first produced, led to the extraordinary
move by the judge of ordering most everyone out of the courtroom,
including UMG's employees.

The lawsuit from F.B.T. Productions, producers of many hit Eminem
recordings, against Aftermath has been closely watched in the
music industry since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined
that the plaintiff was correct in asserting that a contract
between the parties should be read as treating digital music as
"licenses" rather than "sales."  The two sides are about to go to
trial to figure out exactly how much that is worth.

Because F.B.T. already has had much success and is at a more
advanced stage -- a trial on the threshold questions was held in
2010 -- the plaintiffs in the class action want access to the
documents produced in that case for their own litigation against

But Apple is resisting, filing an objection to a motion to modify
a protective order.

On the eve of the F.B.T. case, almost all documents in the case
have gone into lockdown.  Ever since THR published a leaked audit
that highlighted the millions of dollars at stake, the parties
have become super-protective of evidence in the dispute, and the
judge has been willing to accommodate the immense secrecy.

The musicians in the class action want to pierce the veil, but
Apple contends that depositions given by Mr. Jobs and senior vp
Eddy Cue, as well as other documents related to Apple's business
relationships with UMG and other record labels, are "highly
confidential and proprietary trade secrets."

In support, Apple points to the fact that when the depositions
were taken, many individuals, including UMG employees, were sent
out of the room.  When Mr. Jobs' deposition was played before the
jury, the judge also closed the courtroom, ordered many people to
leave and had the transcripts from the trial sessions filed under

In the class-action suit, which recently survived another attempt
by UMG to dismiss, the judge directed the parties to meet and
confer and file a motion in the F.B.T. case to seek relief from a
protective order.

Apple, however, says the plaintiffs haven't shown how the
requested documents are relevant.  Instead, Apple faults the
attorneys for the musicians bringing a motion for documents that
is "broad but indiscriminate."  If the documents are released, the
company says it will experience competitive harm.

URS CORP: Continues to Defend Hurricane Katrina-Related Suits
URS Corporation continues to defend itself and a subsidiary
against lawsuits related to Hurricane Katrina, including the
failure of the New Orleans levee.

From July 1999 through May 2005, Washington Group International,
Inc., an Ohio company ("WGI Ohio"), a wholly owned subsidiary
acquired by the Company on November 15, 2007, performed
demolition, site preparation, and environmental remediation
services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the east bank of
the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (the "Industrial Canal") in New
Orleans, Louisiana.  On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina
devastated New Orleans.  The storm surge created by the hurricane
overtopped the Industrial Canal levee and floodwall, flooding the
Lower Ninth Ward and other parts of the city.

Since September 2005, 59 personal injury, property damage and
class action lawsuits have been filed in Louisiana State and
federal court naming WGI Ohio as a defendant.  Other defendants
include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Board for the
Orleans Levee District, and its insurer, St. Paul Fire and Marine
Insurance Company.  Over 1,450 hurricane-related cases, including
the WGI Ohio cases, have been consolidated in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ("District
Court").  The plaintiffs claim that defendants were negligent in
their design, construction and/or maintenance of the New Orleans
levees.  The plaintiffs are all residents and property owners who
claim to have incurred damages arising out of the breach and
failure of the hurricane protection levees and floodwalls in the
wake of Hurricane Katrina.  The allegation against the Company is
that the work it performed adjacent to the Industrial Canal
damaged the levee and floodwall and caused and/or contributed to
breaches and flooding.  The plaintiffs allege damages of $200
billion and demand attorneys' fees and costs.  WGI Ohio did not
design, construct, repair or maintain any of the levees or the
floodwalls that failed during or after Hurricane Katrina.  WGI
Ohio performed the work adjacent to the Industrial Canal as a
contractor for the federal government and has pursued dismissal
from the lawsuits on a motion for summary judgment on the basis
that government contractors are immune from liability.

On December 15, 2008, the District Court granted WGI Ohio's motion
for summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the
Company performed the work adjacent to the Industrial Canal as a
contractor for the federal government and are therefore immune
from liability, which was appealed by a number of the plaintiffs
on April 27, 2009, to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of
Appeals ("Court of Appeals").  On September 14, 2010, the Court of
Appeals reversed the District Court's summary judgment decision
and WGI Ohio's dismissal, and remanded the case back to the
District Court for further litigation.  On August 1, 2011, the
District Court held that the defense of government contractor
immunity is not available to WGI Ohio at trial, but would be an
issue for appeal.

No further updates were reported in the Company's Feb. 27, 2012,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011.

WGI Ohio intends to continue to defend these matters vigorously;
however, the Company cannot provide assurance that it will be
successful in these efforts.  The potential range of loss and the
resolution of these matters cannot be determined at this time.

VANGUARD NATURAL: Suit vs. Unit in Texas Still Stayed
A lawsuit filed against a subsidiary of Vanguard Natural Resources
LLC in Texas remains stayed, according to the Company's March 5,
2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On March 29, 2011, John O'Neal, a purported unitholder of Encore
Energy Partners LP, filed a putative class action petition in the
125th Judicial District of Harris County, Texas on behalf of
unitholders of ENP. Similar petitions were filed on April 4, 2011
by Jerry P. Morgan and on April 5, 2011 by Herbert F. Rower in
other Harris County district courts.  The O'Neal, Morgan, and
Rower lawsuits were consolidated on June 5, 2011 as John O'Neal v.
Encore Energy Partners, L.P., et al., Case Number 2011-19340,
which is pending in the 125th Judicial District Court of Harris
County.  On July 28, 2011, Michael Gilas filed a class action
petition in intervention.

On July 26, 2011, the current plaintiffs in the consolidated
O'Neal action filed an amended putative class action petition
against ENP, Encore Energy Partners GP LLC, Scott W. Smith,
Richard A. Robert, Douglas Pence, W. Timothy Hauss, John E.
Jackson, David C. Baggett, Martin G. White, and Vanguard.  That
putative class action petition and Gilas's petition in
intervention both allege that the named defendants are (i)
violating duties owed to ENP's public unitholders by, among other
things, failing to properly value ENP and failing to protect
against conflicts of interest or (ii) are aiding and abetting such
breaches.  Plaintiffs seek an injunction prohibiting the merger
from going forward and compensatory damages if the merger is
consummated.  On October 3, 2011, the Court appointed Bull &
Lifshitz, counsel for plaintiff-intervenor Gilas, as interim lead
counsel on behalf of the putative class.  On October 21, 2011, the
court signed an order staying this lawsuit pending resolution of a
consolidated class action complaint filed by two purported
unitholders of ENP in the Delaware Court of Chancery, subject to
plaintiffs' right to seek to lift the stay for good cause.  The
defendants named in the Texas lawsuits intend to defend vigorously
against them.

VANGUARD NATURAL: Subsidiary Still Faces Class Action in Del.
Encore Energy Partners LP, a subsidiary of Vanguard Natural
Resources LLC, continues to defend itself from a consolidated
class action complaint filed in Delaware, according to the
Company's March 5, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

On April 5, 2011, Stephen Bushansky, a purported unitholder of
ENP, filed a putative class action complaint in the Delaware Court
of Chancery on behalf of the unitholders of ENP.  Another
purported unitholder of ENP, William Allen, filed a similar action
in the same court on April 14, 2011.  The Bushansky and Allen
actions have been consolidated under the caption In re: Encore
Energy Partners LP Unitholder Litigation, C.A. No. 6347-VCP.  On
December 28, 2011, those plaintiffs jointly filed their second
amended consolidated class action complaint naming as defendants
ENP, Scott W. Smith, Richard A. Robert, Douglas Pence, W. Timothy
Hauss, John E. Jackson, David C. Baggett, Martin G. White, and
Vanguard. That putative class action complaint alleges, among
other things, that defendants breached the partnership agreement
by recommending a transaction that is not fair and reasonable.
Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages.  Vanguard has filed a motion
to dismiss this lawsuit and it intends to defend vigorously
against this lawsuit.

VANGUARD NATURAL: Defends "Goldstein" Suit Over ENP Acquisition
Vanguard Natural Resources LLC continues to defend itself from a
putative class action lawsuit which stemmed from its acquisition
of Encore Energy Partners LP's limited partnership interests,
according to the Company's March 5, 2012, 10-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

On December 31, 2010, the Company acquired all of the member
interests in Encore Energy Partners GP LLC, the general partner of
ENP, and 20,924,055 common units representing limited partnership
interests in ENP, together representing a 46.7% aggregate equity
interest in ENP at the date of the ENP Purchase, from Denbury
Resources Inc., Encore Partners GP Holdings LLC, Encore Partners
LP Holdings LLC and Encore Operating, L.P.  As consideration for
the purchase, the Company paid $300.0 million in cash and issued
3,137,255 VNR common units, valued at $93.0 million at December
31, 2010.

On December 1, 2011, the Company acquired the remaining 53.4% of
the ENP Units not held by the Company through a merger with one of
its wholly owned subsidiaries.  In connection with the ENP Merger,
ENP's public unitholders received 0.75 Vanguard common units in
exchange for each ENP common unit they owned at the effective date
of the ENP Merger, which resulted in the issuance of approximately
18.4 million VNR common units valued at $511.4 million at December
1, 2011.  ENP's properties are located in Wyoming, Montana, West
Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  As of
December 31, 2011, based on a reserve report prepared by the
Company's independent reserve engineers, DeGolyer & MacNaughton,
the acquired properties from the ENP Acquisition had estimated
proved reserves of 44.0 MMBOE, of which 71% was oil and 88% was
proved developed producing.

On August 28, 2011, Herman Goldstein, a purported unitholder of
ENP, filed a putative class action complaint against ENP, ENP GP,
Scott W. Smith, Richard A. Robert, Douglas Pence, W. Timothy
Hauss, John E. Jackson, David C. Baggett, Martin G. White, and
Vanguard in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Texas on behalf of the unitholders of ENP.  That
lawsuit is captioned Goldstein v. Encore Energy Partners LP. et
al., United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, 4:11-cv-03198.  Goldstein alleges that the named defendants
violated Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 as amended and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder by
disseminating a false and materially misleading proxy statement in
connection with the merger.  Plaintiff seeks an injunction
prohibiting the proposed merger from going forward.  Currently,
the parties are awaiting the appointment of a lead plaintiff in
this lawsuit. The defendants named in this lawsuit intend to
defend vigorously against it.

VANGUARD NATURAL: Penn. Court Orders Dismissal of 'Hysong' Suit
A district court dismissed in November a putative class action
complaint filed against Vanguard Natural Resources LLC by a
purported unitholder of Encore Energy Partners LP, according to
the Company's March 5, 2012, 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31,

On December 31, 2010, the Company acquired all of the member
interests in Encore Energy Partners GP LLC, the general partner of
ENP, and  20,924,055 common units representing limited partnership
interests in ENP, together representing a 46.7% aggregate equity
interest in ENP at the date of the ENP Purchase, from Denbury
Resources Inc., Encore Partners GP Holdings LLC, Encore Partners
LP Holdings LLC and Encore Operating, L.P.  As consideration for
the purchase, the Company paid $300.0 million in cash and issued
3,137,255 VNR common units, valued at $93.0 million at December
31, 2010.

On December 1, 2011, the Company acquired the remaining 53.4% of
the ENP Units not held by the Company through a merger with one of
its wholly owned subsidiaries.  In connection with the ENP Merger,
ENP's public unitholders received 0.75 Vanguard common units in
exchange for each ENP common unit they owned at the effective date
of the ENP Merger, which resulted in the issuance of approximately
18.4 million VNR common units valued at $511.4 million at December
1, 2011.  ENP's properties are located in Wyoming, Montana, West
Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Arkansas and Oklahoma.  As of
December 31, 2011, based on a reserve report prepared by the
Company's independent reserve engineers, DeGolyer & MacNaughton,
the acquired properties from the ENP Acquisition had estimated
proved reserves of 44.0 MMBOE, of which 71% was oil and 88% was
proved developed producing.

On September 6, 2011, Donald A. Hysong, a purported unitholder of
ENP, filed a putative class action complaint against ENP, ENP GP,
Scott W. Smith, Richard A. Robert, Douglas Pence, W. Timothy
Hauss, John E. Jackson, David C. Baggett, Martin G. White, and
Vanguard on behalf of the unitholders of ENP in the United States
District Court for the District of Delaware that is captioned
Hysong v. Encore Energy Partners LP. et al., 1:11-cv-00781-SD.
Hysong alleged that the named defendants violated either Section
14(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder or
Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by
disseminating a false and materially misleading proxy statement in
connection with the merger.  On September 14, 2011, in accordance
with recent practice in Delaware, that case was assigned to Judge
Stewart Dalzell of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  On
November 10, 2011, Judge Dalzell entered an order dismissing the
lawsuit and entering judgment in the defendants' favor.

WAL-MART STORES: Sued Over 3,000-Mile Oil Change Recommendation
Gnanh Nora Krouch, Individually and On Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a Delaware
Corporation, Case No. 3:12-cv-02119 (N.D. Calif., April 27, 2012)
accuses Wal-Mart of violating the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the
California Unfair Competition Law and the California False
Advertising Law.

Wal-Mart has been communicating to all oil change customers at its
automobile service centers in California that their vehicles
require oil changes every 3000 miles, which is much more
frequently than the majority of vehicles require according to the
manufacturers' recommendations, the Plaintiff alleges.  She
contends that Wal-Mart's conduct is flatly prohibited by the
California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which prohibits
representing that a part, replacement, or repair service is needed
when it is not required.

Ms. Krouch is a resident of Oakland, California.

Wal-Mart operates a national chain of retail stores throughout
California and the United States of America, many of which offer
oil changes to customers.  Wal-Mart is a Delaware corporation with
its headquarters located in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          David E. Bower, Esq.
          FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
          10866 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1470
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: (424) 256-2884
          Facsimile: (424) 256-2885
          E-mail: dbower@faruqilaw.com

WHIRLPOOL CORP: Appeals Court Upholds Class Certification Ruling
Jonathan D. Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and
the court-appointed lead attorney for the class, announced that a
unanimous panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld
the order of U.S. District Court Judge James S. Gwin of the
Northern District of Ohio granting class certification to Ohio
consumers who allege that Whirlpool Corporation sold them front-
loading washing machines that are prone to grow mold and produce
foul odors in ordinary use.

Mr. Selbin commented, "The Court of Appeals today reaffirmed that
when a company knowingly sells a defective product to thousands of
consumers, those consumers are entitled to band together as a
class to hold the company accountable."  Mr. Selbin added, "We are
gratified that our clients and the thousands of consumers like
them will have their day in court."

In reaching its decision, the appellate court stated, "[W]e have
no difficulty affirming the district court's finding that common
questions predominate over individual ones and that the class
action mechanism is the superior method to resolve these claims
fairly and efficiently. This is especially true since class
members are not likely to file individual actions because the cost
of litigation would dwarf any potential recovery." (Opinion, page

Background on the Litigation

Plaintiffs charge that Whirlpool's Duet(R), Duet HT(R),
DuetSport(R), and DuetSportHT(R) front-load washing machines ("the
Duets") contain a design defect that results in the growth of mold
or mildew in the machines, ruined laundry, and foul odors.
Plaintiffs further allege that although they and other consumers
have spent time and money trying to remedy these problems, none of
those supposed remedies -- many recommended by Whirlpool itself --
have done so.

On July 12, 2010, Judge Gwin certified a class comprised of
current Ohio residents who purchased one of the specified Duets in
Ohio primarily for personal, family, or household purposes and not
for resale, and who bring legal claims for tortious breach of
warranty, negligent design, and negligent failure to warn.
Whirlpool Corporation then appealed that decision, and argument
was held in January 2012.

In addition to the claims for Ohio consumers, consumers from many
other states have also brought claims that are now pending before
Judge Gwin, and for which class certification will be sought.
Similar cases are also pending against other defendants for the
same defect, including two in which Lieff Cabraser is counsel,
Butler v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., , Nos. 1:06-CV-7023, 1:07-CV-
0412 & 1:08-CV-1832 (N.D. Ill.), and In Re: LG Front Loading
Washing Machine Class Action Litigation, No. 08-51 (D. N.J.).

Consumers who have experienced mold or odor problems with their
Whirlpool, Sears/Kenmore or LG front load washers can report
problems at http://www.lieffcabraser.com/forms.php?id=397

Contact:  Jonathan D. Selbin
          Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
          Telephone: 212-355-9500
          E-mail: jselbin@lchb.com

X-RITE: Shareholder Files Class Action Over Danaher Takeover Bid
Garret Ellison, writing for Mlive, reports that an X-Rite
shareholder has filed a class action lawsuit in federal district
court in Grand Rapids to stop the Kentwood-based color products
company's pending sale to the Danaher Corp. conglomerate of

The 23-page lawsuit, filed April 26 in U.S. District Court Western
District of Michigan, alleges the X-Rite leadership and board of
directors are getting a much better deal out of the sale than the
average shareholder.

On April 10, X-Rite announced that a majority of company
shareholders, 68 percent, had agreed to sell the company -- which
owns color-matching subsidiary Pantone -- for $625 million on a
tender offer from Danaher.

The takeover bid immediately sparked announcements by several law
firms across the country that began to investigate the deal and
advertise for plaintiffs.

The suit, filed by a Shannon Storm, claims the board failed its
fiduciary duties to maximize profit for shareholders by agreeing
to the deal, which is "fundamentally unfair."

Common stock shareholders are getting $5.55 cash per-share under
the deal in a company which has shown "significant growth
potential," according to the filing.

The offer represented a 39 percent premium on the April 10 X-Rite
closing price.  The stock closed at $5.54 April 30.

The per-share offer is "grossly inadequate" because the stock is
worth more based on the company's growth and future earnings
potential, says the filing.

X-Rite has shown positive growth in recent earnings reports.  The
company recorded a $44.9 million fourth-quarter profit in 2011,
capping the most profitable year since 2005.  The company has made
progress in the past couple years paying down expansion-related

The case has been assigned to Judge Gordon J. Quist.  The lawsuit,
which is seeking a declaratory judgment, is asking the deal be
halted or altered to give better terms to shareholders, or for
damages based on the value of the stock price.

According to company filings, the majority stake in X-Rite is
owned by three equity investors, Sagard Capital Partners LP, OPEX
LLC, and the Tinicum group, who together own 68 percent of the
company and have a combination of voting and advisory positions on
the board of directors.

The suit alleges disclosure documents for the takeover bid
misconstrue or omit information shareholders would need to make an
informed decision about whether to support the sale.

Danaher sought to manipulate the takeover process through complex
financial maneuvering that would "eliminate the rights of minority
shareholders" through onerous deal terms that protected Danaher
against competing offers, the suit alleges.

A $16.6 million termination fee would hit X-Rite were they to
pursue another offer.  The suit claims Danaher's deal protection
terms are illegal under state law.

The suit alleges the X-Rite board was "looking to cash-in on
golden parachute payments" and cash out on stock holdings,
singling out CEO Tom Vacchiano for standing to receive $4.2
million from a severance payment and other benefits.

The lawsuit also claims the board's financial adviser, David Cohen
of Centerview Partners, has a conflict of interest because of
alleged ties to OPEX, X-Rite's largest shareholder, through One
Equity Partners, an OPEX affiliate.

The suit claims Danaher previously made attempts to buy X-Rite in
2008 while the company was weathering tough times.

Danaher, a diversified toolmaker, embarked upon the acquisition to
complement its Esko digital packaging design capabilities and
further its position in the product identification industry. The
company has used acquisitions to bolster a slow-growing revenue

Little is currently available on the named plaintiff, Shannon
Storm, whose lawyer, Paul Novak -- pnovak@milberg.com  -- of
Milberg LLP in Detroit, did not return calls seeking comment.

Calls to X-Rite leadership and Danaher representatives were
similarly not returned.

Danaher's offer expires at midnight on May 14 unless it's extended
or terminated.

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Grants Summary Judgment in Favor of GE
In an April 3, 2012 memorandum and order, Judge Eduardo C. Robreno
of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of GE Electric
Company with respect to alleged asbestos exposure arising from
insulation but denied summary judgment with respect to all other
alleged asbestos exposure in five asbestos products liability
cases originating in California.

The asbestos products liability cases were filed by Charles
Clemmer, Calvin Oxford, Albert Rice, Jack Reynolds, and Richard

The Court pointed out that plaintiffs concede that any insulation
used in connection with GE's turbines was externally applied after
their distribution and was not manufactured or supplied by GE.
Thus, the Court ruled that GE's assertion of the bare metal
defense entitles it to summary judgment with respect to
Plaintiffs' claims to the extent that they are related to alleged
asbestos exposure arising from insulation.  However, Plaintiffs
have not limited their allegations to insulation, and, in fact,
each Plaintiff has clarified in his or her opposition brief that
he or she is alleging that GE supplied original asbestos-
containing gaskets, packing, and electrical components for use
aboard the ships at issue.  The Court pointed out that GE has not
sought summary judgment on grounds of insufficient product
identification/causation evidence.

The case is VARIOUS, Plaintiffs, v. VARIOUS, Defendants, No. MDL
875 (E.D. Pa.).  A copy of Judge Robreno's memorandum is available
at http://is.gd/SNwFuifrom Leagle.com.

GE Electric Company is represented by:

         Charles T. Sheldon, Esq.
         Derek S. Johnson, Esq.
         Allison M. Low, Esq.
         333 Bush Street, 30th Floor
         San Francisco, CA 94104-2806
         Tel: (415) 781-7900
         Fax: (415) 781-2635
         E-mail: charles.sheldon@sedgwicklaw.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utah App. Ct. Applies Texas Law in Contract Issue
One Beacon American Insurance Co. appeals the district court's
denial of its motion for summary judgment and grant of summary
judgment to Huntsman Polymers Corporation.

The case involves a dispute between One Beacon and Huntsman over
the amount One Beacon, the insurer, is required to indemnify
Huntsman, the insured, for defense against and settlement of a
wrongful death lawsuit.  In particular, the parties contest when
liability coverage is triggered under a commercial general
liability (CGL) insurance policy for bodily injury in the form of
an asbestos-related progressive disease.  The issue before the
Court of Appeals of Utah is whether Utah law or Texas law should
be applied to interpret the CGL insurance policy and resolve this
contractual dispute.

The Appellate Court, in an April 5, 2012 opinion affirmed the
District Court's ruling concluding that Texas is the state with
the most significant relationship to the contractual relationship
between One Beacon and Huntsman.

On the question of whether the district court was correct in
deciding that Texas law requires application of the exposure
trigger theory under the circumstances of this case, the Appellate
Court agreed with the District Court that "no Texas court has
specifically adopted the continuous trigger theory . . . and only
the exposure theory has been adopted with respect to . . . bodily
injury claims."  The Appellate Court said that although the issue
has not been finally resolved by Texas's highest court, it saw no
reason to apply a different trigger theory than courts applying
Texas law have previously applied in circumstances similar to the
case before it.

The case is One Beacon American Insurance Co.; Pennsylvania
General Insurance Company; and Employers' Fire Insurance Company,
Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. Huntsman Polymers Corporation nka
Huntsman Advanced Materials, LLC, Defendant and Appellee, Case No.
20100327-CA (Utah App. Ct.).  A copy of the April 5 Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/C3HZD8from Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Del. Ct. Grants William Powell Summary Judgment
James K. Story worked at Allied Chemical in Chesterfield, Virginia
from 1956 to 1995.  The plant used valves manufactured by The
William Powell Co.  In Mr. Story's lawsuit, William Powell seeks
summary judgment on product nexus grounds and asserts the
"component parts defense" as grounds for not owing a duty to
Plaintiff for asbestos-containing parts added to their products
after sale.  Therefore, the summary judgment motion comes down to
two issues:

   (1) Whether product nexus is met for the original
       asbestos-containing parts of Defendant's valves; and

   (2) Whether Defendant owes a duty for asbestos-containing parts
       added to its valves after sale.

Judge John A. Parkins, Jr., of the Superior Court of Delaware, New
Castle County, in an April 5, 2012 memorandum opinion, finds
Plaintiff has not made a prima facie case for product nexus with
original asbestos-containing parts manufactured by Defendant and
under Virginia law a manufacturer owes a duty to warn for
asbestos-containing replacement parts when their use is reasonably
foreseeable.  Therefore, Judge Parkins granted in part the summary
judgment motion as to product nexus with asbestos-containing parts
manufactured by the Defendant and denied in part as to the
component parts argument.

JAMES KILBY STORY, et al. Limited to: The William Powell Co., C.A.
No. N10C-11-200 ASB (Del. Super. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Parkins'
Decision is available at http://is.gd/jYoTZxfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Md. Ct. Directs More Discovery in John Crane Suit
Michael R. Jones, et al., filed a motion to remand a product
liability action to Maryland state court.  After Michael R. Jones
was diagnosed with mesothelioma, he and his wife Paulette Jones
brought an asbestos product liability suit in Maryland state court
against nearly two dozen manufacturers and other companies.  The
defendants removed the case to the United States District Court
for the District of Maryland, contending Mr. Jones's alleged
exposure occurred on a federal enclave, and therefore the District
Court has federal question jurisdiction, jurisdiction pursuant to
16 U.S.C. Sec. 457, or both.  The plaintiffs filed a motion to
remand, challenging the sufficiency of the defendants' notice of

In an April 6, 2012 memorandum, District Judge Catherine C. Blaken
denied, without prejudice, the plaintiffs' motion to remand.

The District Court said it may make an authoritative determination
as to federal enclave status after further discovery regarding the
specific location of Mr. Jones's workplace, and further
investigation of the date and manner by which the land on which it
sits was procured by the federal government.  And if at that time
it appears there is no exclusive federal jurisdiction, then it may
be appropriate to remand this case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, Judge Blaken said.

Until then, however, the defendants have alleged facts and
provided legal theories sufficient to meet the threshold the
Fourth Circuit has set for a notice of removal, the District Court
ruled.  At this point, it is plausible that the court has subject
matter jurisdiction over this personal injury action pursuant to
16 U.S.C. Sec. 457, Judge Blaken said.

ET AL., Civil No. CCB-11-2374 (D. Md.).  A copy of Judge Blaken's
Decision is available at http://is.gd/xmSt0ifrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: 2nd Cir. Allows Law Firm to File Suit v. Quigley
Appellant Pfizer Inc. and Debtor-Appellant Quigley Co., Inc.,
appeal from a judgment entered May 23, 2011 in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York reversing a
Clarifying Order of the bankruptcy court and holding that Appellee
Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos may bring suit against Pfizer for
claims based on "apparent manufacturer" liability under
Pennsylvania law.

In an April 10, 2012 opinion, Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District
Court after determining that it has jurisdiction to hear the
appeal; that the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to issue the
Clarifying Order; and that the Clarifying Order does not bar
Angelos from bringing the suits in question against Pfizer.

The case is QUIGLEY COMPANY, INC., Debtor-Appellant, v. LAW
OFFICES OF PETER G. ANGELOS, Appellee, Nos. 11-2635, 11-2767 (2nd
Cir.).  A copy of Judge Livington's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/9p0AXGfrom Leagle.com.

Pfizer Inc. is represented by:

         Sheila L. Birnbaum, Esq.
         Jay M. Goffman, Esq.
         George A. Zimmerman, Esq.
         Bert L. Wolff, Esq.
         Four Times Square
         New York, NY 10036
         Tel: (212) 735-2450
         Fax: (917) 777-2450
         E-mail: sheila.birnbaum@skadden.com

Quigley Company is represented by:

         Michael L. Cook, Esq.
         Lawrence V. Gelber, Esq.
         919 Third Avenue
         New York, NY 10022
         Tel: (212) 756-2150
         E-mail: michael.cook@srz.com

Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos is represented by:

         Jeffrey L. Jonas, Esq.
         Edward S. Weisfelner, Esq.
         James W. Stoll, Esq.
         Thomas H. Montgomery, Esq.
         One Financial Center
         Boston, MA 02111
         Tel: (617) 856-8200
         Fax: (617) 856.8201
         E-mail: jjonas@brownrudnick.com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Crane Co.'s Summary Judgment Motion
In an asbestos personal injury and wrongful death action, Crane
Co. moves pursuant to CPLR 3212 for summary judgment dismissing
the complaint and all cross-claims asserted against it on the
grounds that Christine A. McDonald and James W. McDonald have
failed to produce any competent evidence that the plaintiffs'
decedent was exposed to asbestos as a result of a product that
Crane Co. manufactured, supplied or distributed.

In an April 5, 2012 decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler
of the Supreme Court, New York County, denied Crane Co.'s motion
for summary judgment after determining that the testimony of the
witness in the case sufficiently identifies Crane Co. valves in
the psychiatric center boiler room where Mr. McDonald worked.
Thus, there are issues of fact from which a reasonable jury may
infer that Mr. McDonald was indeed exposed as a bystander to
asbestos from Crane Co. valves, Judge Heitler concluded.

The case is CHRISTINE A. McDONALD, Individually and as Executrix
for the Estate of JAMES W. McDONALD, Plaintiffs, v. A.C.&S., INC.
(ARMSTRONG CONTRACTING & SUPPLY), et al., Defendants, No.
105389/02, Motion Seq. No. 001 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge
Heitler's Decision is available at http://is.gd/T0Bvh0from

ASBESTOS UPDATE: NY Ct. Junks Thermwell's Indemnification Suit
In August 2009, Roberta and Stuart Friedman filed an asbestos-
related personal injury action against various defendants.  In
December 2009, the Friedmans amended their complaint to add
Thermwell Products, Inc., as a defendant, alleging that it was
liable for Ms. Friedman's exposure to asbestos from a product
called "Frost King Rope Caulk."  On April 6, 2011, Thermwell filed
a third-party complaint in the Friedman Action against Nitto Denko
America, Inc., alleging that Frost King Rope Caulk was sold
through the Nitto Denko owned trademark "Presstite," and against
Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., alleging that it was a successor-
in-interest to the company that manufactured Frost King Rope
Caulk.  Thermwell sought to recover from these companies under
principles of common-law indemnification.

Martin Marietta, the Lockheed Martin Corporation, Nitto Denko
America, Inc., Nitto Denko Automotive, Inc., and Permacel Kansas
City, Inc., move pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss Thermwell's
complaint against each of them.  The Defendants also seek costs
and fees, and the imposition of sanctions against Thermwell for
initiating the action in violation of court order.  In addition,
defendant Martin Marietta moves to dismiss the complaint against
it on the ground of improper service of process.

In an April 5, 2012 decision and order, Judge Sherry Klein Heitler
of the U.S. Supreme Court, New York County, dismissed the action
without prejudice after holding that the Defendants should not
have been required to defend against the action before any
judgment was entered or before any settlement was reached.
Moreover, the Court pointed out that it has not been made clear
whether the resolution of the Friedman Action concluded in the
form of a settlement agreement, whether that agreement included
Thermwell, or if any settlement proceeds have been transferred.

CORPORATION, Defendants, No. 112195/11, Motion Seq. No. 001 (N.Y.
Sup. Ct.).  A copy of Judge Heitler's Decision is available at
http://is.gd/VRNqmGfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurer's Claims v. Indian Head May Proceed
Before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan are three motions for partial summary judgment filed by
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Indian Head Industries, Inc.  Indian
Head has been named defendant in lawsuits involving more than
50,000 plaintiffs alleging various claims, including bodily
injury, sickness or disease as a result of exposure to asbestos in
products it manufactured and sold or sold by an alleged
predecessor company.  Continental Casualty Company, which provided
insurance coverage to Indian Head, filed a complaint seeking
contribution from Indian Head for its expenditures since October
12, 2005, in excess of its obligations.

In an April 12, 2012 order, Judge Denise Page Hood of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted Indian
Head's motion for partial summary judgment regarding Trigger of
Coverage after finding that the "injury in fact" approach to
determining whether or when coverage is triggered applies to the
policies at issue.

Judge Hood denied Indian Head's summary judgment motion with
respect to Count III, Exclusion "a" of Plaintiff's Complaint.
Indian Head moves for summary judgment that Exclusion "a" in the
policies does not preclude coverage for the underlying suits based
on the 1984 agreement.  Reviewing the language of the policy and
the 1984 agreement at issue, the Court found Exclusion "a" plainly
and unambiguously excluded liability assumed by Indian Head
Industries under any contract or agreement.  The 1984 agreement,
according to Judge Hood, plainly and unambiguously states that
Indian Head Industries expressly assumed all liabilities,
specifically noting "without limitation, products liability"
arising out of the business and operations of Thyssen-Bornemisza
and its divisions.

The Court also denied Indian Head's summary judgment motion based
on doctrines of waiver and estoppel as to claims submitted to
Continental Casualty from October 12, 2005 and forward.  Judge
Hood found that waiver and estoppel are not available in this case
as to the new claims submitted to Continental Casualty for
coverage since October 12, 2005.  To broaden the coverage of the
policies at issue so as to protect Indian Head against risks that
were not included in the policies or expressly excluded from the
policies is contrary to the agreed language in the policies, Judge
Hood concluded.

COMPANY, Plaintiffs/Counter-Defendants, v. INDIAN HEAD INDUSTRIES,
INCORPORATED, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff, Civil Action No.
05-73918 (E.D. Mich.).  A copy of Judge Hood's Order is available
at http://is.gd/ylgQh0from Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Calif. Court Overturns Ruling Favoring Hennessy
Leonard Shields, et al., appeal from judgments on the pleadings in
favor of Hennessy Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of a brake
arcing machine.  Each of the plaintiffs alleged Hennessy's machine
was designed and used exclusively for the purpose of shaping, by
grinding action, brake linings that were manufactured by others,
but contained asbestos fibers that were dangerously released into
the air by the normal action of Hennessy's machine.  The trial
court ruled that, because Hennessey's machine itself was not made
with asbestos and Hennessy did not itself manufacture or
distribute any product made with asbestos, plaintiffs had not, and
could not, plead a viable cause of action against Hennessy for
negligence or strict products liability.

In an April 13, 2012 order, Justice James J. Marchiano of the
Court of Appeals of California, First District, Division One,
reversed the trial court's decision and concluded, in light of the
Supreme Court's recent decision in O'Neil v. Crane Co. (2012) 53
Cal.4th 335 (O'Neil), as well as earlier Court of Appeal decisions
including Taylor v. Elliott Turbomachinery Co., Inc. (2009) 171
Cal.App.4th 564 (Taylor), and Tellez-Cordova v. Campbell-
Hausfeld/Scott Fetzger Co. (2004) 129 Cal.App.4th 577 (Tellez-
Cordova), the plaintiffs have pleaded viable causes of action for
negligence and strict liability for purposes of overcoming a
motion for judgment on the pleadings.

The case is LEONARD SHIELDS et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v.
HENNESSY INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendant and Respondent, No. A130213
(Calif. App. Ct.).  A copy of Justice Marchiano's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/zJQVWrfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Pa. Court Thumbs Down Insurers' Motion for Recon
Defendants Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and First State
Insurance Company move for reconsideration of the order and
memorandum entered on February 22, 2012, holding that summary
judgment as a matter of law is not appropriate because the case
presents a mixture of questions of fact and law.  Hartford's and
First State's reconsideration motion asserts that the court erred
by giving weight to the affidavit of a Pennsylvania deputy
insurance commissioner in ruling that GRC had met its burden to
oppose summary judgment.  Furthermore, inasmuch as that ruling was
"outcome determinative," the court erred in denying Hartford's and
First State's cross-motion for partial summary judgment, the
Defendants assert.

In an April 13, 2012 memorandum, Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
denied the motion for reconsideration after concluding that none
of the categories or reasons for reconsideration applies in the
case.  Reconsideration requires one of the following: (1) an
intervening change in the law; (2) the availability of new
evidence; or (3) the need to correct clear error of law or prevent
manifest injustice.

CO., et al., Civil Action No. 04-3509 (E.D. Pa.).  A copy of Judge
Luwdwig's Decision is available at http://is.gd/Ms57I7from

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Leite Lawsuit Stays in Hawaii Dist. Court
On September 6, 2011, Douglas and Mary Leite filed an action in
the First Circuit Court of the State of Hawaii asserting claims
against 18 defendants that manufactured, sold and/or supplied
various products containing asbestos to the United States Navy.
As alleged in the Complaint, Douglas Leite was exposed to asbestos
contained in Defendants' products while working as a machinist at
the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard from 1966 to 1972, causing him to
develop asbestos-related diseases.

On October 21, 2011, Defendant Crane Company removed the action to
the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
pursuant to the federal officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. Sec.
1442(a)(1), which allows removal where a defendant can establish a
colorable federal defense.  In response, the Plaintiffs filed
their Motion to Remand.  On January 23, 2012, Magistrate Judge
Richard L. Puglisi entered his Findings and Recommendation to
grant the Plaintiffs' Motion for Remand finding that the
Defendants had not established a colorable federal defense.

Currently before the court are several Defendants' Objections to
the January 23 F&R.  In an April 13, 2012 order, District Judge J.
Michael Seabright sustains the objections and denies the motion
for remand after finding that removal pursuant to Sec. 1442(a)(1)
was proper.

The case is DOUGLAS P. LEITE and MARY ANN K. LEITE, Plaintiffs, v.
CRANE COMPANY, a Delaware Corporation, et al., Defendants, Civil
No. 11-00636 JMS/RLP (Hawaii).  A copy of Judge Seabright's
Decision is available at http://is.gd/q3G8vvfrom Leagle.com.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: United Fire Had $1.8MM Reserves at Dec. 31
United Fire Group, Inc., had $1.8 million in direct and assumed
asbestos and environmental loss reserves at the end of 2011,
according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "At December 31, 2011 and 2010, we had $1.8
million and $3.4 million in direct and assumed asbestos and
environmental loss reserves. In addition, we had ceded asbestos
and environmental loss reserves of $0.3 million and $0.5 million
at December 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively. The estimation of
loss reserves for environmental claims and claims related to long-
term exposure to asbestos and other substances is one of the most
difficult aspects of establishing reserves, especially given the
inherent uncertainties surrounding such claims. Although we record
our best estimate of loss and loss settlement expense reserves,
the ultimate amounts paid upon settlement of such claims may be
more or less than the amount of the reserves, because of the
significant uncertainties involved and the likelihood that these
uncertainties will not be resolved for many years."

United Fire Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries are engaged in the
business of writing property and casualty insurance and life
insurance and selling annuities.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Houston Wire Still Defends Exposure Suits
Houston Wire & Cable Company continues to defend asbestos exposure
cases, according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company, along with many other defendants, has been named in a
number of lawsuits in the state courts of Illinois, Minnesota,
North Dakota, and South Dakota alleging that certain wire and
cable which may have contained asbestos caused injury to the
plaintiffs who were exposed to this wire and cable. These lawsuits
are individual personal injury suits that seek unspecified amounts
of money damages as the sole remedy. It is not clear whether the
alleged injuries occurred as a result of the wire and cable in
question or whether the Company, in fact, distributed the wire and
cable alleged to have caused any injuries.  The Company maintains
general liability insurance that, to date, has covered the defense
of and all costs associated with these claims. In addition, the
Company did not manufacture any of the wire and cable at issue,
and the Company would rely on any warranties from the
manufacturers of such cable if it were determined that any of the
wire or cable that the Company distributed contained asbestos
which caused injury to any of these plaintiffs. In connection with
ALLTEL's sale of the Company in 1997, ALLTEL provided indemnities
with respect to costs and damages associated with these claims
that the Company believes it could enforce if its insurance
coverage proves inadequate.

Houston Wire & Cable Company is one of the largest providers of
wire and cable and related services to the U.S. market.  It
provides its customers with a single-source solution for wire and
cable, hardware and related services by offering a large selection
of in-stock items, exceptional customer service and high levels of
product expertise.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ampco-Pittsburgh Had 8,145 Open Claims Year End
Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation had 8,145 open asbestos claims at the
end of 2011, according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Claims have been asserted alleging personal injury from exposure
to asbestos-containing components historically used in some
products of predecessors of the Corporation's Air & Liquid Systems
Corporation subsidiary ("Asbestos Liability") and of an inactive
subsidiary in dissolution. Those subsidiaries, and in some cases
the Corporation, are defendants (among a number of defendants,
often in excess of 50) in cases filed in various state and federal

The table reflects approximate information about the claims for
Asbestos Liability against the subsidiaries and the Corporation,
along with certain asbestos claims asserted against the inactive
subsidiary in dissolution, for the three years ended December 31,
2011, 2010 and 2009:

                                    2011      2010      2009
                                    ----      ----      ----
   Open claims at end of period    8,145     8,081     8,168

   Gross settlement and
      defense costs (in 000's)   $22,767   $18,085   $28,744

   Claims resolved                 1,501     1,377     3,336

A substantial majority of the settlement and defense costs
reflected in the table were reported and paid by insurers.
Because claims are often filed and can be settled or dismissed in
large groups, the amount and timing of settlements, as well as the
number of open claims, can fluctuate significantly from period to
period. In 2006, for the first time, a claim for Asbestos
Liability against one of the Corporation's subsidiaries was tried
to a jury. The trial resulted in a defense verdict. Plaintiffs
appealed that verdict and in 2008 the California Court of Appeals
reversed the jury verdict and remanded the case back to the trial

The Corporation's reserve at December 31, 2010 for the total
costs, including defense costs, for Asbestos Liability claims
pending or projected to be asserted through 2020 was $218 million,
of which approximately 85% was attributable to settlement costs
for unasserted claims projected to be filed through 2020 and
future defense costs. The reserve at December 31, 2011 was $198
million. While it is reasonably possible that the Corporation will
incur additional charges for Asbestos Liability and defense costs
in excess of the amounts currently reserved, the Corporation
believes that there is too much uncertainty to provide for
reasonable estimation of the number of future claims, the nature
of such claims and the cost to resolve them beyond 2020.
Accordingly, no reserve has been recorded for any costs that may
be incurred after 2020.

The Corporation's receivable at December 31, 2010 for insurance
recoveries attributable to the claims for which the Corporation's
Asbestos Liability reserve has been established, including the
portion of incurred defense costs covered by the Coverage
Arrangement, and the probable payments and reimbursements relating
to the estimated indemnity and defense costs for pending and
unasserted future Asbestos Liability claims, was $142 million
($126 million as of December 31, 2011).

Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation operates in two segments: Forged and
Cast Rolls, and Air and Liquid Processing. Forged and Cast Rolls
segment is operated by Union Electric Steel Corporation and Union
Electric Steel UK Limited. Air and Liquid Processing Segment is
operated by Aerofin Division of Air & Liquid Systems Corporation,
Buffalo Air Handling Division of Air & Liquid Systems and Buffalo
Pumps Division of Air & Liquid Systems Corporation.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ampco-Pittsburgh Suit v. Insurers Still Pending
A lawsuit initiated by Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation against
certain insurers related to asbestos bodily-injury claims remain
pending in Pennsylvania, according to the Company's March 15,
2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Certain of the Corporation's subsidiaries and the Corporation have
an arrangement (the "Coverage Arrangement") with insurers
responsible for historical primary and some first-layer excess
insurance coverage for Asbestos Liability (the "Paying Insurers").
Under the Coverage Arrangement, the Paying Insurers accept
financial responsibility, subject to the limits of the policies
and based on fixed defense percentages and specified indemnity
allocation formulas, for pending and future claims for Asbestos
Liability. The claims against the Corporation's inactive
subsidiary that is in dissolution proceedings, numbering
approximately 315 as of December 31, 2011, are not included within
the Coverage Arrangement. The Corporation believes that the claims
against the inactive subsidiary in dissolution are immaterial.

The Coverage Arrangement includes an acknowledgement that Howden
North America, Inc. ("Howden") is entitled to coverage under
policies covering Asbestos Liability for claims arising out of the
historical products manufactured or distributed by Buffalo Forge,
a former subsidiary of the Corporation (the "Products"). The
Coverage Arrangement does not provide for any prioritization on
access to the applicable policies or monetary cap other than the
limits of the policies, and, accordingly, Howden may access the
policies at any time for any covered claim arising out of a
Product. In general, access by Howden to the policies covering the
Products will erode the coverage under the policies available to
the Corporation and the relevant subsidiaries for Asbestos
Liability alleged to arise out of not only the Products but also
other historical products of the Corporation and its subsidiaries
covered by the applicable policies.

On February 24, 2011, the Corporation and its Air & Liquid Systems
Corporation subsidiary filed a lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against
thirteen domestic insurance companies, certain underwriters at
Lloyd's, London and certain London market insurance companies, and
Howden. The lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment regarding the
respective rights and obligations of the parties under excess
insurance policies not included within the Coverage Arrangement
that were issued to the Corporation from 1981 through 1984 as
respects claims against the Corporation and its subsidiary for
Asbestos Liability and as respects asbestos bodily-injury claims
against Howden arising from the Products. Various counterclaims,
cross claims and third party claims have been filed in the

Ampco-Pittsburgh Corporation operates in two segments: Forged and
Cast Rolls, and Air and Liquid Processing. Forged and Cast Rolls
segment is operated by Union Electric Steel Corporation and Union
Electric Steel UK Limited. Air and Liquid Processing Segment is
operated by Aerofin Division of Air & Liquid Systems Corporation,
Buffalo Air Handling Division of Air & Liquid Systems and Buffalo
Pumps Division of Air & Liquid Systems Corporation.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reading Int'l Expects $12.5MM Removal Costs
Reading International, Inc., estimates total site preparation
costs associated with the removal of asbestos-contaminated soil at
one of its properties will be $12.5 million (AUS$12.2 million),
according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "Certain of our subsidiaries were historically
involved in railroad operations, coal mining, and manufacturing.
Also, certain of these subsidiaries appear in the chain of title
of properties that may suffer from pollution.  Accordingly,
certain of these subsidiaries have, from time to time, been named
in and may in the future be named in various actions brought under
applicable environmental laws.  Also, we are in the real estate
development business and may encounter from time to time
unanticipated environmental conditions at properties that we have
acquired for development.  These environmental conditions can
increase the cost of such projects, and adversely affect the value
and potential for profit of such projects.  We do not currently
believe that our exposure under applicable environmental laws is
material in amount.

"From time to time, we have claims brought against us relating to
the exposure of former employees of our railroad operations to
asbestos and coal dust.  These are generally covered by an
insurance settlement reached in September 1990 with our insurance
carriers.  However, this insurance settlement does not cover
litigation by people who were not our employees and who may claim
second hand exposure to asbestos, coal dust and/or other chemicals
or elements now recognized as potentially causing cancer in
humans.  Our known exposure to these types of claims, asserted or
probable of being asserted, is not material.

"In connection with the development of our 50.6-acre Burwood site,
it will be necessary to address certain environmental issues.
That property was at one time used as a brickworks and we have
discovered petroleum and asbestos at the site.  During 2007, we
developed a plan for the remediation of these materials, in some
cases through removal and in other cases through encapsulation.
As of December 31, 2011, we estimate that the total site
preparation costs associated with the removal of this contaminated
soil will be $12.5 million (AUS$12.2 million) and as of that date
we had incurred a total of $8.5 million (AUS$8.3 million) of these
costs.  We do not believe that this has added materially to the
overall development cost of the site, as it is anticipated that
much of the work will be done in connection with the excavation
and other development activity already contemplated for the

Reading International, Inc., is an internationally diversified
"hard asset" company principally focused on the development,
ownership and operation of entertainment and real property assets
in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.  Currently, it
operates in two business segments: (1) Cinema Exhibition, through
its 57 cinemas, and (2) Real Estate, including real estate
development and the rental of retail, commercial and live theater

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Magnetek Continues to Defend & Pursue Claims
Magnetek, Inc., continues to defend and pursue various asbestos-
related claims, according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the transition period from July 4, 2011, through January 1, 2012.

The Company states: "In August 2006, Pamela L. Carney,
Administrator of the Estate of Michael J. Carney, filed a lawsuit
in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania,
against us and other defendants, alleging that a product
manufactured by our Telemotive Industrial Controls business that
we acquired in December 2002 contributed to an accident that
resulted in the death of Michael J. Carney in August 2004. The
claim has been tendered to our insurance carrier and legal counsel
has been retained to represent us. We are defending the action on
the basis of findings that the operator/owner of the product,
Alleghany Ludlum Corporation, improperly maintained or modified
the product, which led to its alleged failure.  In March 2010, our
primary carrier, Travelers, denied coverage under a reservation of
rights.  This followed our excess coverage carrier, AIG/AISLIC,
denying coverage in June 2009.  Travelers has agreed to continue
to pay defense counsel to defend the case and has authorized
defense counsel to undertake the defense of the "pass through"
vendor PDS.  Plaintiff's claim for damages is unknown at this
time. The case is in the discovery phase and no trial date has
been set.

"We have been named, along with multiple other defendants, in
asbestos-related lawsuits associated with business operations we
previously acquired, but which are no longer owned. During our
ownership, none of the businesses produced or sold asbestos-
containing products. With respect to these claims, we believe that
we have no such liability.  For such claims, we are uninsured and
either contractually indemnified against liability, or
contractually obligated to defend and indemnify the purchaser of
these former Magnetek business operations.   We aggressively seek
dismissal from these proceedings. Management does not believe the
asbestos proceedings, individually or in the aggregate, will have
a material adverse effect on its financial position or results of

"We also filed claims in the Federal-Mogul bankruptcy proceedings
to recover attorney's fees for the defense of asbestos-related
claims. In May 2007, we entered into a settlement agreement with
Federal Mogul under which we were entitled to receive amounts from
a settlement trust established under Federal-Mogul's
reorganization plan and funded by insurance proceeds. We were
entitled to receive 15% of the first $20 million and 10% of the
next $25 million of insurance proceeds, up to a maximum of $5.5
million, in exchange for withdrawing our bankruptcy claims and
objections to the reorganization plan and execution of certain
releases. Through January 2009, we received payments totaling $5.5
million, the maximum amount to which we were entitled.  The
consolidated statements of operations include $0.5 million of
income from the settlement trust in results of discontinued
operations for fiscal year 2009.  This amount represents primarily
the recovery of previously incurred legal fees for the defense of
these asbestos related lawsuits.  Several insurance carriers filed
a declaratory judgment action relating to insurance coverage for
such previously acquired businesses, seeking a determination that
no coverage is available under the policies. Federal-Mogul, other
defendants and we filed responsive pleadings and motions relating
to the case, and the court granted the motions to stay the
declaratory judgment action. Some of these insurers appealed such
ruling but the ruling was upheld on appeal in November 2008.

"Given the nature of these issues, uncertainty of the ultimate
outcome, and inability to estimate the potential loss, no amounts
have been reserved for these matters."

Magnetek, Inc., is a global provider of digital power control
systems that are used to control motion and power primarily in
material handling, elevator, mining, and renewable energy

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Park-Ohio Still Defends Exposure Lawsuits
Park-Ohio Holdings Corp. continues to defend asbestos exposure
cases, according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2011.

The Company states: "We were a co-defendant in approximately 260
cases asserting claims on behalf of approximately 1,140 plaintiffs
alleging personal injury as a result of exposure to asbestos.
These asbestos cases generally relate to production and sale of
asbestos-containing products and allege various theories of
liability, including negligence, gross negligence and strict
liability, and seek compensatory and, in some cases, punitive

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

"There are only seven asbestos cases, involving 25 plaintiffs,
that plead specified damages. In each of the seven cases, the
plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages based on a
variety of potentially alternative causes of action. In three
cases, the plaintiff has alleged compensatory damages in the
amount of $3.0 million for four separate causes of action and $1.0
million for another cause of action and punitive damages in the
amount of $10.0 million. In the fourth case, the plaintiff has
alleged against each named defendant, compensatory and punitive
damages, each in the amount of $10.0 million, for seven separate
causes of action. In the fifth case, the plaintiff has alleged
compensatory damages in the amount of $20.0 million for three
separate causes of action and $5.0 million for another cause of
action and punitive damages in the amount of $20.0 million. In the
remaining two cases, the plaintiffs have each alleged against each
named defendant, compensatory and punitive damages, each in the
amount of $50.0 million, for four separate causes of action.

"Historically, we have been dismissed from asbestos cases on the
basis that the plaintiff incorrectly sued one of our subsidiaries
or because the plaintiff failed to identify any asbestos-
containing product manufactured or sold by us or our subsidiaries.
We intend to vigorously defend these asbestos cases, and believe
we will continue to be successful in being dismissed from such
cases. However, it is not possible to predict the ultimate outcome
of asbestos-related lawsuits, claims and proceedings due to the
unpredictable nature of personal injury litigation. Despite this
uncertainty, and although our results of operations and cash flows
for a particular period could be adversely affected by asbestos-
related lawsuits, claims and proceedings, management believes that
the ultimate resolution of these matters will not have a material
adverse effect on our financial condition, liquidity or results of

Among the factors management considered in reaching this
conclusion were: (a) our historical success in being dismissed
from these types of lawsuits; (b) many cases have been improperly
filed against one of our subsidiaries; (c) in many cases the
plaintiffs have been unable to establish any causal relationship
to us or our products or premises; (d) in many cases, the
plaintiffs have been unable to demonstrate that they have suffered
any identifiable injury or compensable loss at all or that any
injuries that they have incurred did in fact result from alleged
exposure to asbestos; and (e) the complaints assert claims against
multiple defendants and, in most cases, the damages alleged are
not attributed to individual defendants. Additionally, we do not
believe that the amounts claimed in any of the asbestos cases are
meaningful indicators of our potential exposure because the
amounts claimed typically bear no relation to the extent of the
plaintiff's injury, if any.

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

Park-Ohio Holdings Corp., primarily through the subsidiaries owned
by its direct subsidiary, Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., is an
industrial supply chain logistics and diversified manufacturing
business operating in three segments: Supply Technologies,
Aluminum Products and Manufactured Products.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rentech Recorded $311,000 Liability at Dec. 31
Rentech, Inc., has a legal obligation to handle and dispose of
asbestos at its East Dubuque Facility and Natchez Project in a
special manner when undergoing major or minor renovations or when
buildings at these locations are demolished, even though the
timing and method of settlement are conditional on future events
that may or may not be in its control. As a result, the Company
has developed an estimate for a conditional obligation for this
disposal. In addition, the Company, through its normal repair and
maintenance program, may encounter situations in which it is
required to remove asbestos in order to complete other work. The
Company applied the expected present value technique to calculate
the fair value of the asset retirement obligation for each
property and, accordingly, the asset and related obligation for
each property have been recorded. In accordance with the
applicable guidance, the liability is increased over time and such
increase is recorded as accretion expense. The liability at
December 31, 2011, September 30, 2011 and 2010 was $311,000,
$303,000 and $268,000, respectively. The accretion expense for the
three months ended December 31, 2011 and the fiscal years ended
September 30, 2011, 2010 and 2009 was $8,000, $35,000, $31,000 and
$0, respectively, according to the Company's March 15, 2012, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the transition period from October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

Rentech, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and develops
technologies that enable the production of synthetic fuels and
renewable power when integrated with third-party technologies in
the United States.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: American Locker Has 38 Unresolved Cases
Beginning in September 1998 and continuing through March 15, 2012,
American Locker Group Incorporated has been named as an additional
defendant in approximately 191 cases pending in state court in
Massachusetts and one in the state of Washington. The plaintiffs
in each case assert that a division of the Company manufactured
and furnished components containing asbestos to a shipyard during
the period from 1948 to 1972 and that injury resulted from
exposure to such products. The assets of this division were sold
by the Company in 1973. During the process of discovery in certain
of these actions, documents from sources outside the Company have
been produced that indicate that the Company appears to have been
included in the chain of title for certain wall panels which
contained asbestos and which were delivered to the Massachusetts
shipyards. Defense of these cases has been assumed by the
Company's insurance carrier, subject to a reservation of rights.
Settlement agreements have been entered in approximately 33 cases
with funds authorized and provided by the Company's insurance
carrier. Further, over 120 cases have been terminated as to the
Company without liability to the Company under Massachusetts
procedural rules. Therefore, the balance of unresolved cases
against the Company as of March 8, 2012, the most recent date
information is available, is approximately 38 cases, according to
the Company's March 15, 2012, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2011.

The Company cannot estimate potential damages or predict what the
ultimate resolution of these asbestos cases may be because the
discovery proceedings on the cases are not complete. However,
based upon the Company's experience to date with similar cases, as
well as the assumption that insurance coverage will continue to be
provided with respect to these cases, at the present time, the
Company does not believe that the outcome of these cases will have
a significant adverse impact on the Company's operations or
financial condition.

American Locker Group Incorporated is a manufacturer of lockers,
locks and keys with a wide-range of applications for use in
numerous industries. The Company is best known for manufacturing
and servicing the widely-utilized key and lock system with the
iconic plastic orange cap. The Company serves customers in a
variety of industries in all 50 states and in Canada, Mexico,
Europe, Asia and South America.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Prism to Complete Law Library Abatement By May
Tom Shortell of The Express-Times reports that Northampton County
has begun the cleanup of its courthouse law library, 11 months
after the Environmental Protection Agency was notified about
asbestos in it and other county-owned locations.

Workers with Prism, a Luzerne County environmental remediation
company, began the process of removing asbestos fibers from the
library room in the Northampton County Courthouse Monday evening,
April 16.  Workers were seen carting equipment up to the room,
which has been off limits to county employees for months because
of dangerously high levels of the carcinogen.

County Administrator Tom Harp said employees of the company will
work on removing asbestos and contaminated materials such as
reference books from the library for the next four to six weeks.
They are scheduled to work 10-hour shifts from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
so as not to interfere with courthouse operations, he said.

It's the second time in five years that portion of the courthouse
has needed asbestos remediation.  In 2007, asbestos tiles were
removed from that area as part of the renovations to the historic
portion of the courthouse.  County officials are at a loss to
explain how asbestos wound up back in the library.

"We're very confident that with this approach, we'll get this area
secure of any hazardous materials," Harp said.

In the meantime, county attorneys are exploring what if any legal
recourse they have.  Harp said there is no evidence to determine
if the asbestos is new or has been there all along, and county
attorneys are looking into the county's options.

"At this point, I think the investigation is still ongoing to some
extent," he said.

The law library is the third location owned by the county to
undergo asbestos remediation in the past few months.  Portions of
Gracedale's basement have been reopened after more than a month of
cleanup, and a storage area in the courthouse's basement is being
scrubbed for asbestos as well.

Costs are quickly accumulating for the cleanup process.  Harp
originally estimated the county would spend about $140,000
remediating Gracedale's basement, but he said the county expects
the final cost will be higher because the project suffered delays.
Harp did not have an immediate figure available.

Prism was awarded a $90,408 bid for the library remediation,
according to county documents.  The county's asbestos consultant,
SSM Group, will be paid an additional $46,500 to supervise the
project and test it for lingering contamination, Harp said.

The county could face further expenses depending on the outcome of
the EPA's investigation.  Controller Stephen Barron contacted the
federal agency in May 2011 about asbestos issues in the
courthouse, Gracedale and the Wolf Building because he thought
county officials ignored air quality complaints from employees.
County Executive John Stoffa said at the time that fines were
likely, but no word about the investigation has come down from the
EPA for several months.

"It obviously isn't [a priority], otherwise we would have heard
from them," Harp said.

A spokeswoman for the EPA said April 16 that there are no new
updates in the investigation.

Ted Harris, a member of a county employee safety committee that
has lobbied county council to investigate the asbestos problems,
said the situation has improved slightly.  Supervisors at
Gracedale allowed committee members to have a voice and be kept
involved in the cleanup process in that facility, but the same
offer was not extended at the courthouse.  Harris said he has no
reason to believe anything is wrong with the cleanup efforts, but
he said the committee was hoping for better communication from the
administration.  "I have concerns about the law library in that
the safety committee was not included in the final scope," he
said.  "That does not give us a comfortable feeling."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Colorado College Inn Abatement to Cost $3MM
Mark Hall of The Mesothelioma Center reports that The University
of Colorado will demolish a building on campus next year after a
health audit exposed that it contained large amounts of asbestos,
which poses a long-term health threat to students and staff.

The College Inn building was used as an overflow housing dorm at
the university, and local reports cite that it was constructed in
1964, a time when asbestos was widely used in construction

Because of its insulating and heat-resistant properties, asbestos
was commonly found in piping, tiling, cement, paint, insulation
and countless other building products.

Exposure to this toxic material has been linked to the development
of respiratory cancers including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Unlike other health issues, asbestos-related diseases often remain
latent for decades and can take up to 50 years to manifest.

While removing and cleaning of all existing asbestos from the
College Inn was an option, reports state that the cost of asbestos
abatement and related fixes would top $3 million.

"The cost of renovation really exceeds the value of the building,"
said Paul Leef, campus architect.

The demolition of the 76,779 square-foot building will occur
during the summer of 2013, at an estimated to cost $1.5 million.
Because the university acquired more housing space for over 1,000
students in 2011, the College Inn building is no longer needed.

The school building will remain empty until the demolition next

According to Leef, there are no official plans for the space.  New
housing units for families or graduate students have been

The University of Colorado is just one of many recent examples of
educational campuses with asbestos dangers.

At the beginning of April, the University of South Carolina
announced that approximately 90 of the school's 200 buildings
contained asbestos.  The school has now developed a plan to
identify the buildings that contain asbestos, which will help
better plan renovations and required repairs.

California State University Northridge was also recently found to
have asbestos.  The Environmental Health and Safety Department
conducted a routine inspection that yielded surprising results to
school officials.  Eighteen buildings were found to contain the
toxic material, even though reports show that a majority of
asbestos was removed from the campus buildings over the last 20

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stowey Sutton Action Group Releases Report
ITV News West reports that a campaign group has published a report
on April 16 against plans to dump asbestos into a quarry near Chew
Valley in Somerset.

The Stowey Sutton Action Group claim the proposed landfill would
be bad for the environment and say more than 2,000 signatures have
been collected in a petition opposing the plans.

They also say the landfill would be bad for the local water
supply, a concern also raised by Bristol Water, who say it poses a
risk to the long-term quality of the water in the Chew Valley

In the afternoon of April 16, campaigners met to present their
case at Folley Farm nature reserve in Stowey.  The developers
behind the plans say the asbestos will be buried underground in
sealed units and the local council say the risk to water pollution
is minimal.  For the campaigners, that's not good enough.

They claim the district produces only 1,200 tons of asbestos waste
a year.  The site at Stowey Quarry could have as much as 65,000
ton a year dumped in it.  Aside from the environmental dangers,
campaigners say the 100 lorry movements, 6 days a week, will put
community safety at risk.

The full report from the Stowey Sutton Action Group can be viewed
at http://www.stopstoweyquarry.co.uk

                            *     *     *

The Post at Thisisbristol.co.uk reports that campaigners battling
plans to turn a quarry near Chew Valley Lake into a landfill dump
for asbestos have outlined their evidence to fight the

The Stowey Sutton Action Group (SSAG) has presented a detailed
report to Bath & North East Somerset Council arguing why it
believes a bid to turn Stowey Quarry into a landfill site should
be thrown out.

The plan would allow for up to 645,000 tons of asbestos and inert
waste to be dumped into the quarry, which is just a few miles from
Chew Valley Lake -- one of Bristol's major water supplies.

The group's formal objection has been handed to the council, and
the deadline for public objections was on Thursday, April 19.  A
3,000-name petition was expected to be delivered to the House of
Commons by North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and 500 letters
of objection would be handed to Mr. Rees-Mogg, the council, the
Environment Agency and the Highways Agency.

About 40 people attended a meeting held by the action group at
Folly Farm conference centre on April 16 to explain why people are
so strongly opposed to the plans.  Their main concerns are the
possibility of health problems from any leakage of asbestos --
which can cause the fatal diseases asbestosis and mesothelioma --
from the quarry into local water sources, the number of lorry
movements every day to and from the site, the inappropriateness of
the site itself, and the lack of need for it.

Local GP, comedian and campaigner Dr. Phil Hammond led the
meeting.  He said: "We have to make absolutely certain that this
site will not leak asbestos out into the environment and I don't
think they can guarantee that from their planning application.
There would be over 300,000 tons over ten years of asbestos coming
from the South West region and possibly the whole of England, with
lorries coming from every angle.

"There would be 312,000 lorry movements over ten years, or 100
movements a day for six days a week. That level of lorry movements
will have a profound effect on health and wellbeing.

"Our best shot is to engage with B&NES and present this evidence
and see if we can get (the application) opposed.  If we can't get
that, we should go to the Environment Agency and try to make sure
they don't issue a permit."

SSAG chairwoman Sally Monkhouse said: "The potential contamination
of water is a real issue as it would threaten the water supply to
Bristol and the South West for generations to come.  We can't
afford to take a gamble when water is such a precious resource."

Bristol Water has also opposed the application, saying the
proposal poses a "material increase in risk" to the water resource
of the Chew reservoir and that it is inappropriate.

Dennis Wilson, 85, from Temple Cloud, said: "I just cannot believe
anyone would think of dumping asbestos in the catchment area of
the lake.  It is non-degradable so will be there for thousands of
years.  The applicant has said they will put a lining in the
quarry and stop it getting into the ground.  I want to know what
this lining is and how it will stop it leaking out over thousands
of years?"

Gareth Thomas, an expert consultant from ground engineering
consultancy Integrale, said: "Every single liner that is man-made
leaks -- it is down to quality assurance and how many leaks you
get in an area.  This is a fundamental issue and because it is, it
shouldn't be accepted.  It is not the appropriate sort of quarry
for this usage."

SSAG claims the applicant, Chepstow firm Matrix Movements, had put
forward its proposals without having even visited the site,
questioned its assertion that the landfill dump would not be
visible from public places and said there were already other sites
for asbestos dumping at Bridgwater and Swindon.

A previous decision by B&NES council to allow the application was
quashed in September following procedural irregularities, but
Matrix Movements re-submitted its plans.

Matrix Movements spokesman Larry Edmunds said: "We have engaged in
detailed discussions with the Environment Agency with regard to
the environmental permit for the proposed activity.

"All necessary studies will be carried out to ensure the site will
function without adverse effect on the environment, including
water supplies.  Once operational, the site will be regulated and
monitored by the planning authority and Environment Agency for the
life of the development and the aftercare period."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers Found in Portadown College Contained
The Portadown Times reports that the Southern Education and
Library Board insists that staff and pupils at Portadown College
are not at risk despite the recent discovery of asbestos in the
school's staff toilet block.

Asbestos, which remains the highest single cause of work-related
deaths in the UK, was found in during refurbishment work being
carried out by contractors.

The area was sealed off while an investigation was carried out and
the board consulted with asbestos specialists.

One source at the school said the discovery underlined the extent
of the problems facing staff and pupils in a building that should
have been replaced.

"The contractors were doing some work when the asbestos was
discovered.  Ultimately, pupils and staff weren't at risk but it
shows once again the conditions that we are having to work in," he

Alderman Sam Gardiner, the Upper Bann MLA, said the discovery was
deeply worrying.

He said, "I will be contacting the Southern Education Board in
Armagh to find out if an audit of all school buildings has been
carried out with a view to detecting asbestos.  I was under the
impression that an asbestos audit had been carried out across all
schools and I want to establish the truth of this."

An SELB spokesman stressed that neither staff nor pupils were
exposed to asbestos.

He said, "The SELB can confirm that, in compliance with board
policy, established protocols were followed in investigating
whether asbestos containing materials were present in corroded
heating pipes during refurbishment work in relation to the staff
toilets at Portadown College.  This included closing the staff
toilet block and consulting asbestos specialists in investigating
the matter in line with best practice guidelines.  Staff were not
exposed to any asbestos containing materials and pupils are not
permitted to use this area in any case."

The spokesman also admitted that a "substantial number" of its
premises have asbestos containing materials (ACMs) present due to
their construction date.

He added, "With regard to asbestos in schools or other board
premises, the SELB operates under clear, strict and approved
official guidelines which comply with legislative requirements and
reflect best practice, and undertakes whatever work is required in
this context regardless of resource constraints.  Any asbestos
still in existence in board premises, including schools, is
carefully and systematically managed.  It is well documented and
its condition regularly reviewed under an Asbestos Management
Plan.  The priority at all times is ensuring that any potential
risk to human health is alleviated."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oak Brook Firm Indicted for 22 Health Violation
According to an article posted at environmental-expert.com,
Cochrane & Associates, LLC, reports that earlier this month, the
Chicago Tribune published a report about an Oak Brook company that
federal safety regulators intend to levy a $127,600 fine against
for 22 serious health violations.  The infractions occurred at one
of the company sites located in Franklin Park.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health
Administration (OSHA) became involved after a complaint was filed
with the agency.  According to the article, "The violations
include failing to determine the presence and quantity of
asbestos-containing or presumed asbestos-containing material;
affix warning notices on asbestos-containing piping; provide a
regulated area for asbestos removal operations; monitor employees
and the work area for asbestos exposure during the removal
process; and use a high-efficiency particulate air, or HEPA,
vacuum to collect dust during removal."

OSHA also reported that respirators were not used and workers did
not receive asbestos awareness training.  Workers were also not
provided with protective clothing or a decontamination room.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, "Asbestos
was once a commonly used building material because it is not
affected by heat or chemicals and does not conduct electricity.
Now, however, it is considered a serious indoor air pollutant with
links to such serious respiratory diseases as asbestosis,
mesothelioma, and lung cancer.  Asbestos was used in many products
that were installed in Illinois' schools and commercial buildings
for decades."

One company that has been providing companies with asbestos
surveys and sampling to prevent violations such as these is
locally owned and operated EC2, Inc.  Ed Chambers, the President
of EC2, stated, "Many older buildings contain asbestos and there
are serious health issues and fines when companies do not comply
with asbestos regulations.  Suspect materials should always be
tested for asbestos before any demolition or remodeling takes
place to protect not only the workers, but also future building
occupants from asbestos fiber exposure which can lead to
mesothelioma, asbestosis, respiratory illnesses and lung cancer."

                       About EC2, Inc.

EC2 provides environmental consulting and inspection services for
clients across the United States.  Based in the Chicago area, the
company provides their services to clients ranging from local
companies and institutions to International Fortune 500

ASBESTOS UPDATE: FMC, CBS and 93 Others Face Lawsuit
Kyla Asbury of The West Virginia Record reports that a Chesapeake,
Ohio, couple is suing 95 companies they claim are responsible for
an asbestosis bilateral diagnosis.

On March 28, 2010, Glen Roy Jones was diagnosed with asbestosis
bilateral, according to a complaint filed March 26 in Kanawha
Circuit Court.

Jones claims he was employed by A.C.F. Industries as a laborer,
material inspector, fork lift operator, truck driver and storeroom
attendant from 1963 until 1986.

The defendants failed to inform Jones of the dangers of being
exposed to asbestos, according to the suit.

Jones claims the defendants also failed to provide him with safety
apparel to wear when working with asbestos and/or asbestos-
containing products.

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

Jones and his wife, Florence Jones, are seeking a jury trial to
resolve all issues. They are being represented by Bronwyn I.
Rinehart -- brinehart@jfhumphreys.com.

The 95 companies named as defendants in the suit are 3M Company;
A.C.F. Industries, LLC; A.W. Chesterton Company; Ajax Magnethermic
Corporation; Amdura Corporation; Derrick Company; Aurora Pump
Company; Borg-Warner Corporation; CBS Corporation; Catalytic
Construction Company; Caterpiller, Inc.; Certainteed Corporation;
Clark Equipment Company; Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc.; Columbus
McKinnon Corporation; Copes-Vulcan, Inc.; Crane Company; Crane
Pumps & Systems, Inc.; Crown, Cork & Seal USA, Inc.; Dezurick;
Dravo Corporation; Durabla Manufacturing Company; Eaton
Corporation; Fairmont Supply Company; F.B. Wright Company;
Flowserve Corporation f/k/a the Duriron Company; Flowserve
Corporation as Successor-in-Interest to Durametallic Corporation;
FMC Corporation; Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation; General
Electric Company; General Refractories Company; Genuine Parts
Company; Georgia-Pacific LLC; Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc.; Goulds
Pumps, Inc.; Grinnell LLC; Honeywell International f/k/a Allied
Signal, Inc.; Honeywell International, Inc.; IMO Industries, Inc.;
I.U. North America, Inc.; Industrial Holdings Corporation;
Ingersoll-Rand Company; FMC Corporation; Insul Company, Inc.; ITT
Corporation; J.H. France Refractories Company; John Crane, Inc.;
Kelsey-Hayes Company; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Manitowoc
Cranes, Inc.; McJunkin Corporation; Metropolitan Life Insurance
Company; Mine Safety Appliances Company; Morgan Engineering, Inc.;
Nacco Materials Handling Group, Inc.; Nagle Pumps, Inc.; Navistar,
Inc.; Nitro Industrial Coverings, Inc.; Oakfabco, Inc.; Ohio
Valley Insulating Company, Inc.; Peerless Pumps;
Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC; Pneumo Abex LLC; Premiere
Refractories, Inc.; Rapid American Corporation; Reading Crane and
Engineering Company; Riley Power, Inc.; Rockwell Automation, Inc.;
Roper Pump Company; Ross Brothers Construction Co.; Rust
Constructors, Inc.; Rust Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Rust
International, Inc.; Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc.; Schneider
Electric; Shell Oil Company; State Electric Supply Company;
Sterling Fluid Systems (US) LLC; Swindell Dressler International
Corporation; SVI Corporation; Tasco Insulations, Inc.; The
Alliance Machine Company; Thiem Corp.; Toyota Material Handling,
USA, Inc.; U.B. West Virginia, Inc.; Union Carbide Chemical and
Plastics Company, Inc.; Uniroyal, Inc.; United Engineers &
Constructors and Washington Group International; Vimasco
Corporation; Westinghouse Air Brake Division of Trane U.S., Inc.;
West Virginia Electric Supply Company; Western Auto Supply
Company; Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc.; Yarway Corporation; and
Zurn Industries, LLC.

The case has been assigned to a visiting judge.  Kanawha Circuit
Court case number: 12-C-533

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Carlisle Spokeswoman Praises Abatement Procedure
Julian Whittle of News & Star reports that a father of five has
hit out after he found workmen in masks removing deadly asbestos
immediately behind their home.

Trevor Watson's house in Richardson Street, Denton Holme,
Carlisle, backs onto the old Kangol factory where Border
Construction is building accommodation for students.

Mr. Watson discovered asbestos contractors working in full
protective gear.

The company, and environmental health officers, say nobody was at
risk.  Mr. Watson, 47, is not convinced.

He said: "There's been a pile of what we thought was concrete
there for three weeks.

"We found out it contained asbestos only when they came to remove
it.  It's right outside our back gates.

"The asbestos was stuck to the concrete and they were chipping
away at it.  It can travel anywhere on the wind."

Asbestos can cause mesothelioma, an aggressive form of lung
cancer.  Symptoms often appear many years after exposure.

Mr. Watson called Carlisle City Council who sent an environmental
health officer.

A council spokeswoman said: "We were satisfied that the work had
been carried out correctly.  The asbestos was correctly identified
and not broken up.

"The licensed contractors followed acceptable procedures and it
was removed from the site."

Ian Wishart, business development manager for Border Construction,
said: "We discovered an underground tank that we didn't know

"We called in environmental consultants and they established there
was asbestos cement.  We then engaged specialist contractors to
extract and remove it.

"Everything was fully risk assessed.  There was no asbestos dust
in the air and the council were happy with how we approached it.

"We are very proud of our safety record."

Other Richardson Street residents share Mr. Watson's concerns.

Michael Carrigan, whose home backs onto the site, said: "They were
breaking it up and putting it into bags.  If they needed masks and
protective suits, what about us?"

Mr. Carrigan was among 80 residents who opposed Border's plans to
redevelop the site, in part because they feared that contamination
might be disturbed.

An environmental assessment found high levels of pollutants
including arsenic, chromium and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
The latter can cause cancer and have been linked to birth defects
and low IQs and asthma in children.

Border convinced the councilors that the site could be developed
without risk.  The first students should move in this autumn.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: HSE Says Payout Hold-Up Affects 15,000 Sufferers
Jeremy Armstrong of Mirror News -- mirror.co.uk -- reports that
doomed workers with crippling illnesses linked to asbestos are
dying without compensation because of Government cutbacks.

A new law to speed up compensation by letting sufferers claim from
their employers' insurers was agreed two years ago.

But "shrinking departmental resources" at the Ministry of Justice
means it will not come into force until 2013, at the earliest.

In the three-year delay almost 15,000 people with debilitating
diseases such as mesothelioma will die, the Health and Safety
Executive has predicted.

Compensation lawyer Chris Shaw said: "It's disgraceful because
they are terminally sick and they need that money."

He added: "Insurance companies are the only ones profiting from
the delay."

Asbestos-related disease can take 30 to 40 years to develop and
the HSE fears the death toll will rise.

Mr. Shaw went on: "The Government needs to rethink its decision.
Many of these people do not have the luxury of being able to wait.
It's a disgrace."

A year ago, his firm won a payout for a mineworker who died over
40 years after being exposed to asbestos when a power station
cooling tower collapsed.

A new Ministry of Justice report said that tackling the severe
economic situation meant "very worthwhile but less immediately
pressing law reform projects have, in some cases, been delayed."

But Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter said the hold-up was
"another example of the Government favoring the interests of
insurers over the victims".

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Eye Villagers Alarmed Over Eyebury Quarry Plan
Ken Mcerlain of Peterborough Evening Telegraph reports that Eye
residents have expressed concerns over plans to dump asbestos at a
quarry near their village.

Proposals by Biffa Waste Services to allow asbestos waste to be
disposed in four "non hazardous" cells at Eyebury Quarry, in
Eyebury Road, near Eye, and to increase the catchment area for it
to accept asbestos was due to be discussed by councilors at the
planning committee on April 24.

The plans have been recommended by officers for approval, subject
to a number of conditions, with the application saying that as
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is expected to generate 995,000
tons of hazardous waste by 2026 there is a need for more landfill
space to be allocated to dispose of it.

However the proposals have been met by concern from people living
and with connections to the village of Eye.

Sharon Beehoo, a member of the Eye Primary School Association,
said: "I don't live in the village myself but my daughter goes to
the primary school there.

"If these plans were given the go-ahead then as a parent I would
naturally feel concern.

"I think many other people in the village, especially parents of
young children, would feel the same.

"Asbestos makes you think of old buildings and the breathing
illnesses that contracting it can lead to, so it's only natural to
be concerned about hearing something like this."

Lillian Muxlow, who runs the Eye Youth Centre, added: "Eye is a
thriving village with lots of young families already here and many
more moving in.

"My initial reaction would be for people's health and safety and I
would like to know about how safely the asbestos would be stored.

"The quarry is not very far from people's homes and the village
primary school so I would worry about the potential for them to be
affected by this.

"I'm sure I speak for many people in the community by expressing
my concern and wanting to know more."

For more details visit http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/planning

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Non-Toxic Flexible Graphite Replaces Asbestos
It seems a little strange that a material first developed to
replace a substance as nasty as asbestos would then recruited by
the Navy to replace a metal as pure and precious as silver.  Odd
as it may be, it's also part of the history of flexible graphite.

Flexible graphite seals and gaskets were first developed in the
late 1970's as effective, non-toxic substitutes for asbestos.  By
the early 90s, however, the U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet had a
different problem to solve.  The high-pressure valve seals on
nuclear-powered ships were made of silver coated metal.  The
relatively soft silver coating provided a secure seal on imperfect
valve surfaces.  But the cost of silver was prohibitive, and the
Navy wanted a more economical alternative.

Dick Dudman, the Chief Engineer and flexible graphite pioneer at
EGC Enterprises, was there when the Navy got in touch.  "About 20
years ago, a Navy consultant named Paul Toupin called and was
interested in putting flexible graphite in the nuke's pressure
valves as a sealing element.  An edict had come down, and the
Naval brass wanted the silver out."

Toupin suspected -- and Dudman knew -- that flexible graphite was
a made-in-heaven product for replacing the silver-coated metal
seals.  Soft and resilient, flexible graphite has the ability to
micro-seal a surface.  Its compressed graphite flakes are small
enough to fill imperfections and anomalies in the surface.  And
when the seal is built at the proper thickness, it will also
adjust for out-of-flatness conditions.  A flexible graphite seal
can absorb imperfections and still have enough friction on the
mating surfaces to remain in position during the loading and under
system pressure.  And because flexible graphite has no property
loss in the presence of nuclear radiation, it was a natural fit
for the Navy's nuclear pressure valve application.

Of course, Dick Dudman also knew that the flexible graphite
material alone was not enough to solve the Navy's problem.  It had
to be engineered to fit the application.  "You don't just wad up a
bunch of graphite, throw it in a cavity and squeeze it.  We had to
contain the graphite in anti-extrusion stainless steel caps.  That
way the seal would have the proper amount of mass to reach density
and still fit in exactly the same location as the metal seal it

Fortunately, EGC Enterprises already had a head start in the
design of such a seal.  "We were already in the business of making
pressure seals for Arizona Public Service (APS), a public electric
power utility.  So when Paul Toupin said he was interested in
replacing a metal seal with a graphitic one, I suggested he go to
a conference in Florida to hear Bill Lehman from APS talk about
how our seals worked for APS in their nuclear application."

As it turns out, APS provided much more than a first-party
endorsement -- the testing data that the Navy required was
actually done by APS in 1999 at one of their facilities.  "They
used a fixture and loaded and unloaded it temperature-wise,
pressure-wise to simulate as many years as possible," says Dudman.
"We spent about a week in the facility and knowing that this was
an accelerated test, just extrapolated out the data and that was
about 26 years of life -- much better than the metal seal.  Not
many pressure seals even last that long.  Even the plants last
only about 40 years.  So the Navy used the recommendation and we
had the authority to proceed."

Subsequently, the Navy conducted its own tests, most notably 500-
hour shock and steam tests performed in 2003 by Target Rock at its
steam test facility.  The original results were confirmed.  The
EGC flexible graphite pressure seal performed without any leakage
and hit the mark on compressibility.

The sealability benefits of flexible graphite over metal have far
reaching implications.  As one experienced hand from APS noted,
metal seals have only a 60% chance of sealing.  When they don't
seal, they must be welded or filled with concrete.  And in many
applications, there is no access to the valve until the entire
system is shut down for maintenance.

To this day, EGC is the only graphite pressure seal tested and
approved by the U.S. Navy for use in Standard Navy Control Valve
designs aboard nuclear-propulsion vessels.  Having replaced both
asbestos and silver, it still sails under the U.S. flag on a
number of ships.

                         About EGC

EGC is a recognized world leader in engineering and manufacturing
of graphite composites for high temperature applications in fluid
sealing or thermal systems management.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Meso Victims Center Calls Out Refinery Workers
The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "We are particularly worried
about individuals who worked in oil fields, oil refineries,
chemical plants and or power plants, when it comes to exposure to
asbestos, and a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma.  Because
a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis claim for these specific work
groups can be so valuable, our goal for these types of
mesothelioma victims is to make certain they, or their family
members have the specific names, and contact information for the
best mesothelioma attorneys in the United States.  No other group
offers this service."  The Mesothelioma Victims Center says, "Not
only are we worried about chemical manufacturing facility workers
in every US State, we are specifically worried about oil refinery,
or oil field workers who worked in Texas, Louisiana, Alaska,
California, or Alaska.  We are also very worried about US
citizens, who worked in Saudi Arabia, or and other Persian Gulf
petroleum, or crude oil facilities."  The Mesothelioma Victims
Center says, "we are also super worried about any just diagnosed
mesothelioma victim who worked in any kind of US power plant.
Every US State has power plants, and up until a few years ago most
were loaded with asbestos."

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to
asbestos. Just diagnosed victims of mesothelioma are encouraged to
contact the Mesothelioma Victims Center anytime at 866-714-6466,
or contact the group via its web site at

The Mesothelioma Victims Center is the premier advocate for a just
diagnosed victim of mesothelioma, or their loved ones in the
United States.  After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, the
Mesothelioma Victims Center has no equal when it comes to free
advice, help, and support for a mesothelioma victim, or their
loved ones.  The group says, "while one third of all US
mesothelioma diagnosed victims served in the US Navy, a large
group a mesothelioma diagnosis's come from individuals who worked
in oil fields, oil refineries, chemical manufacturing facilities
and or power plants, and we stand ready to help these individuals,
and their families with our unparalleled free service."  As part
of its unsurpassed Mesothelioma Victims Initiative the
Mesothelioma Victims Center will provide a victim of mesothelioma,
or their family members with the names, and specific contact
information for the best mesothelioma attorneys, or best
mesothelioma trial law firms in the US.  No other group offers
this service to a victim of mesothelioma, or their family members.

For more information a just diagnosed mesothelioma victim, or
their loved ones can contact the Mesothelioma Victims Center
anytime at 866-714-6466, or they can contact the group via its web
site at http://MesotheliomaVictimsCenter.Com

ASBESTOS UPDATE: West Ryde Locals Lived Amid Carcinogens For Years
Robbie Patterson of The Northern District Times reports that
residents of West Ryde are fearful of their futures after a two-
year battle to have asbestos removed from a nearby vacant block.

They have questioned Ryde Council and the Catholic Church over
what they say is a lack of action and communication.

Bruce Rees, 54, has lived near the Gaza Rd.-Hughes St. site for 35

He said something should have been done to clear the former hall
site -- which belongs to St Michael's Church -- of asbestos a long
time ago.

Mr. Rees and other residents "just don't know if the asbestos has
spread" in the two years since its existence became known.

At that time Mr. Rees and more than 70 neighbors handed a petition
to Ryde Council demanding action.

"We are talking about a life-threatening contaminant, where people
live and have young children," he said.  "This should have all
been shut down immediately after there was notification that the
site was contaminated."

Mr. Rees said he believed the contaminants had moved around
because of long dry and wet periods.  He recalled seeing dust
swirls and believes small particles could have spread through the

He said this belief intensified when the council told him the
property's ever-growing lawns would not be mowed because that
could spread the asbestos.

"We are not trying to overstate the whole thing or get it
completely out of context," he said.  "We are trying to deal with
the situation now and make sure that everything is done right."

Remediation work began after the Easter weekend.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Has Killed 1,156 In Japan In 14 Yrs
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center relates that deaths from
mesothelioma cancer in Japan will continue rising steadily until
the number peaks in 2027 and begins to decline, according to an
alarming study done recently at the Hamamatsu University School of

The same study projected a total of 66,327 mesothelioma deaths
from 2003 to 2050 in Japan.

Mesothelioma is the cancer caused almost exclusively from an
exposure to asbestos.  The study did not project deaths from
asbestosis or lung cancer, which also can be caused by an exposure
to asbestos, the toxic mineral once used so extensively in
industrialized countries.

The study looked only at occupational exposure, and not second
hand or casual exposure that also has been responsible for many
mesothelioma deaths.  Experts say that no amount of exposure is
considered safe for humans.

Japan, like the United States and Canada, has dramatically reduced
the use of asbestos in recent decades, but it also has not banned
it completely like more than 50 countries have worldwide.

The study was done by a group of health and environmental experts,
using an elaborate estimation model with more than a dozen
different variables.

        Mesothelioma Deaths Started Climbing in 2000

Statistics of mesothelioma mortality have been recorded in Japan
since 1995, and the numbers started climbing in 2000 when 710
deaths were documented.  By 2009, the number had risen to 1,156.
One of the factors in the calculation is the amount of asbestos
that came into Japan since 1949.  The imports  had stopped
completely during World War II, but they resumed a few years after
the war ended.

The Japanese importation of asbestos peaked in 1972 at 350,000
metric tons, but as late as 1988, 300,000 metric tons still were
being imported annually.

The importation virtually has stopped today, but the effects of
asbestos will be felt for many more years because of the lengthy
latency period involved with the disease.  It can take anywhere
from 10 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos before mesothelioma
symptoms appear.

Asbestos was used in thousands of commercial and household
products, in everything from cement to automobile parts.  It was
valued for its heat resistance, flexibility and cost

        U.S. Mesothelioma Deaths Could Peak by 2010

The United States, by comparison, is expected to see mesothelioma
deaths peak by the end of this decade, a little earlier than in
Japan.  There are an estimated 2,700 mesothelioma deaths annually
in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, but an estimated 10,000 deaths annually from all
asbestos-related diseases, according to The Environmental Working

"Our estimate has also suggested that the number of mesothelioma
deaths could be significantly reduced (in the future) if there
were adequate compliance with the administrative level guidelines
for occupational asbestos exposure," wrote the authors in the
Japanese study.

"It seems that adequate ventilation and equipment to protect from
asbestos exposure had not been used in the workplaces where
asbestos use was rampant."

Although asbestos is hardly being used in new products today, the
remnants will continue to haunt the countries that once used it so
extensively.  The abatement process could take decades, which will
leave many vulnerable to the toxic mineral as it naturally erodes.

"Future studies that stress on education with regard to protection
from exposure during the demolition or the disposal of asbestos-
containing materials, and more adequate measures for reducing
mesothelioma risk are needed," concluded the authors.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Springfield Rental Owner Exposes Tenants to Fibro
Ryan Trowbridge for WGGB reports that a Springfield rental owner
has been charged with illegally removing and disposing of

On April 18, Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that
a Hampden County Grand Jury handed up an indictment on April 12
for Susan Nissenbaum.

According to investigators, 59-year-old Nissenbaum, of North
Grafton, paid two tenants in April 2010 to remove asbestos siding
from her single-family rental property in Springfield, and then
store that siding on the property.

Even though Nissenbaum knew that there was asbestos in the siding,
investigators allege that she also failed to inform the tenants
working for her how asbestos needed to be handled and failed to
ensure that they had the proper training and equipment to do so.

"We allege that this defendant put her tenants at risk by having
them unsafely remove asbestos from the property and failing to
warn them of the dangers involved," says Coakley.

Coakley's office also alleges that because of that asbestos was
improperly stored in torn bags, other tenants, their children, and
others were exposed to the dangerous fibers.  The Mass. D.E.P.
also reports that they were never informed or contacted about the
removal, as required by law.

About seven months later, the Mass. Department of Environmental
Protection inspected the site in November 2010 and found the
alleged improper removal, storage, and disposal of the asbestos.

Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Mass. Department of
Environmental Protection, adds, "For those who try to circumvent
that process, they not only put the health and safety of workers
and nearby residents in jeopardy, but they will most assuredly be
looking at elevated enforcement and that could include loss of
license, a financial penalty and even criminal charges."

Nissenbaum has been charged with three counts of violating the
Mass. Clean Air Act, for her alleged failure to file a notice of
asbestos removal with the D.E.P., improper asbestos removal, and
improper asbestos storage.  She is scheduled to be arraigned at a
later date.

The D.E.P. Urges anyone who may have information regarding a
potential environmental crime to contact them through their
hotline, 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283) or the Attorney General's office
at (617) 727-2200.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: ILR Praises Introduction of FACT ACT to Congress
Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal
Reform (ILR), issued the following statement on April 18 regarding
the introduction of the "Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency
(FACT) Act of 2012" in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This
legislation would require asbestos personal injury settlement
trusts authorized by federal bankruptcy law to disclose
information on their claims on a quarterly basis and respond to
information requests from parties to asbestos litigation.

"We applaud Representative Quayle's effort to shed light on the
growing number of asbestos bankruptcy trusts that play a
significant role in today's asbestos compensation system.  The
FACT Act is common sense bipartisan legislation that would bring
much needed transparency to the trust system.

"We are encouraged by the increasing scrutiny of these trusts and
are hopeful that Congress will act to ensure that the trust system
is working as intended.  Questionable claims have been identified
in the course of litigation that raise serious questions about
asbestos trusts' susceptibility to fraud and abuse.  The FACT
Act's simple disclosure requirement will deter fraud without
impacting legitimate asbestos victims' rights."

ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative,
political, judicial, and educational activities at the national,
state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business
federation representing the interests of more than 3 million
businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state
and local chambers and industry associations.

                           *     *     *

Erik Glavich at Shopfloor relates: Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ)
introduced the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2012
(FACT Act, H.R. 4369).  With Representatives Jim Matheson (D-UT)
and Dennis Ross (R-FL) as original cosponsors, the FACT Act is
bipartisan legislation that will help combat fraud and abuse that
plagues the asbestos trust system.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) appreciates Rep.
Quayle's leadership on this important issue.  With roughly 60
asbestos trust funds and nearly $40 billion in assets,
opportunistic individuals are able to file claims for the same
claimant with numerous trusts, seeking multiple payouts.  Without
proper oversight and checks on the system, increasing fraud and
abuse will harm the truly needy and diminish asbestos trust fund

The FACT Act would provide much needed transparency by requiring
trusts to quarterly disclose information on their claim payments
and to cooperate in requests for information on claims.  Different
trusts could compare claims and prevent fraudulent or duplicate

By ensuring that trust fund resources are dedicated to legitimate
claims, Rep. Quayle's legislation would ensure that the system
functions as Congress intended.  The FACT Act also would protect a
claimant's sensitive personal information.  It deters fraud and
abuse without impacting legitimate claims.

The FACT Act is a commonsense reform of the system that would
protect the individuals for whom the trusts were established.
Manufacturers support the FACT Act and urge Congress to pass the

Erik Glavich is director of legal and regulatory policy, National
Association of Manufacturers.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Protesters Say ODA Builds On Contaminated Soil
Brian Farmer of The Independent reports that environmental
campaigners told a High Court judge on April 18 that an Olympic
basketball training facility was being built on a parkland filled
with "lead and asbestos".

They said the facility in Waltham Forest, north London, was being
put up in an area "landfilled" after the Second World War and
workers were disturbing "contaminated" earth.

Demonstrators raised concerns as Mr. Justice Arnold -- who has
said he has tickets for an Olympic basketball game -- renewed an
order "restraining" them from engaging in "unlawful activity" at
the site.

The judge granted the injunction on April 4 after lawyers
representing the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) -- a public body
responsible for building Games venues -- said protesters were
stopping workers getting to the site at Leyton Marsh, which is
part of a regional park.

He renewed it at a High Court hearing in London on April 18 after
hearing arguments from the ODA and protesters.

The judge was a told that the ODA had licensed the site from park
owners.  Planners had given permission on the basis that the
facility would be demolished and land restored to its previous
condition after the Games.

He said he had to balance the ODA's rights under that agreement
and demonstrators' rights to free speech and assembly.

"The injunction doesn't prevent lawful or peaceful protest," said
Mr. Justice Arnold.  "The court's function is to uphold the law."

He added: "It seems to me it is necessary and appropriate to grant
the relief sought by the ODA."

The judge said the injunction would remain until after the Games
or a trial of issues in dispute or further court order.

A number of protesters outlined their concerns to the judge at the
April 18 two-hour hearing.

One said the area had been used as a landfill site after the
Second World War and "contaminated land" was "being disturbed".

Another, Daniel Ashman, said the area was "full of lead and

Demonstrators said the parkland was "sacred" to locals as a "place
to relax and take refuge from the noisy urban environment".

Protester Simon Moore told the judge: "It is priceless.  It serves
an essential human need that no building could."

Demonstrators said they were not opposed the Olympics but to
development.  They complained that not enough local people had
been consulted about plans for the facility.

Mr. Justice Arnold praised the demonstrators' clarity and courtesy
and said they had "made their points well".

Earlier this month, demonstrators were evicted from the site after
separate legal moves by parkland owners.

A High Court official granted a possession order to the Lee Valley
Regional Park Authority.

The official, Master Matthew Marsh, made the order after being
told that the protesters had set up tents, collected wood and made
fires in breach of park byelaws.

Lawyers representing the ODA told the judge that four people had
been arrested when the site was cleared following Master Marsh's

They said the continuation of the injunction was necessary because
there was a "serious risk" that "unlawful activities" would

The judge was told that protesters had moved to a nearby verge
owned by a local authority after being evicted.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abel Plus Begins Chiddix Junior High Abatement
Ryan Denham of WJBC reports that a South Elgin company is now set
to begin asbestos abatement work at Chiddix Junior High School by
May 1.

Unit 5's school board voted on Wednesday, April 18, during a brief
special session to hire Abel Plus Services Inc. for the $493,700
job.  Abel was the low bidder out of seven firms and will remove
floors, school ceilings and the ceiling in the cafeteria.

Chiddix has been closed since February, when Unit 5 disclosed that
asbestos had been found in the school.  The school district is
using the closure to do a full renovation of Chiddix, and students
will see new furniture, lighting, carpeting and paint when their
school reopens in the fall.

The full renovation was expected to cost Unit 5 about $3.2
million.  But the Abel bid came in about $330,000 less than what
the district's architect had expected, so the $3.2 million
estimate now looks to be high, Unit 5 superintendent Gary Niehaus
told school board members on April 18.

The asbestos abatement work should take until the first week of
June, when another company will come and "put the building back
together again," as Niehaus puts it.

The board is expected to pick a company for that phase of the
renovation at its first meeting in May.  The district may issue
bond debt to pay for the renovation, but a final financing plan is
not yet decided, Niehaus said.

Some renovation work has began inside the sixth-grade wing at
Chiddix, Niehaus said.  That's because that addition wasn't built
until 1999, so it doesn't have the same asbestos issues the rest
of the school did.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lawyer Unsold on Fraud Due to Non-Transparency
John O'Brien of Legal Newsline reports that legislation introduced
on April 18 would require more transparency from the asbestos
bankruptcy trust system.

Three Congressmen introduced the Furthering Asbestos Claims
Transparency Act, which would require trusts to disclose claims
and exposure allegations while providing third-party discovery in
asbestos civil lawsuits.

The trust system operates independently of the tort system.
Companies that went through bankruptcy reorganization formed the
trusts for the purpose of paying asbestos claimants.

"The trust fund system originated to resolve present and future
asbestos injury claims for victims deserving of compensation,"
said Leigh Ann Pusey, president and CEO of the American Insurance

"Today, the system is fraught with fraud and abuse to the
detriment of legitimate claimants.  This legislation's
transparency measures protect claimants' confidentiality while
ensuring the continued viability of the asbestos trust fund

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 legislation was introduced by two Republicans, Ben Quayle of
Arizona and Dennis Ross of Florida, and Democrat Jim Matheson of

Nathan Finch -- nfinch@motleyrice.com -- of plaintiffs firm Motley
Rice and James Stengel -- jstengel@orrick.com -- of Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe took part in a policy debate presented by
the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy in January.

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 -- jrice@motleyrice.com -- 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."

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform also applauded
introduction of the bill.  Legal Newsline is owned by the ILR.

At least two states have proposed similar trust reform.  Ohio's
senate heard testimony in March on a bill already passed by the
House of Representatives, while Oklahoma's senate passed a bill on
March 14.

The Oklahoma bill is currently sitting in the House Judiciary

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Stop Lennar Action Movement Allegations Dismissed
John Wildermuth of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that
activists convinced that the Hunters Point Shipyard development is
a threat to the health of its neighbors have lost another battle
with the government.

An investigation by the FBI and the inspector general of the
federal Environmental Protection Agency found "no evidence that an
EPA employee conspired with the (San Francisco Department of
Public Health) and Lennar Corp. to conceal asbestos exposure at
the . . . site," a summary of the report, released earlier this
month, states.  The inspector general "recommended no further
action and now considers this matter closed."

The dispute over asbestos exposure began almost as soon as Lennar,
the developer for the huge project that will drop an entirely new
city neighborhood on the former shipyard site, began doing
preliminary grading work in 2006.

The excavation work released asbestos from the soil, which
neighborhood groups said caused nosebleeds, headaches, rashes and
other health problems for Bayview-Hunters Point residents.

Although Lennar was fined more than $500,000 in 2008 for
improperly calibrating asbestos-monitoring equipment, the
developer has denied there was ever any health risk.

In March 2011, a group of environmental activists calling
themselves SLAM, for Stop Lennar Action Movement, charged that
more than 2,000 e-mails obtained under the federal Freedom of
Information Act showed that Lennar, the EPA and the city Health
Department conspired to downplay and bury any evidence of a health
risk from the asbestos.

The investigation into the claim began in August, more than a year
after the city approved the shipyard project.  The FBI interviewed
people from the EPA, the Health Department and Iris Environmental,
a consultant for Lennar.  There also was a scientific review of
the e-mails, including one which SLAM cited as evidence of a
criminal conspiracy.

Investigators found "no effort to hide, misrepresent or cover-up
asbestos monitoring results," and suggested that activists had
taken the most damning e-mail out of context.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Police Union Files Charges Over Exposure Risk
Debbie Siegelbaum for The Hill reports that members of the Capitol
Police union have levied a complaint against the department for
allegedly failing to prevent exposure to asbestos while officers
were on duty.

In late February, the chairman of the Capitol Police Labor
Committee, James Konczos, submitted a formal complaint to the
Office of Compliance (OoC) regarding the department's refusal to
take action to protect several of its officers.

According to a copy of the complaint obtained by The Hill, Capitol
Police officers were posted in the Senate subway tunnels at a time
when the Architect of the Capitol (AoC) was performing asbestos
removal to facilitate sprinkler system installation.

The asbestos removal efforts were performed during weekends from
February through April, when Senate staffers were not on the

A notice was sent to all senators' and committee offices, support
offices, the Capitol Police and other building occupants to notify
them of the asbestos removal work, AoC spokeswoman Eva Malecki

"Employees conducting the abatement of ACM [asbestos containing
materials] have current EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]
certifications, personal protective equipment and necessary
training," wrote Senate Superintendent Robin Morey in the Jan. 12

"The work will be supervised by an EPA accredited supervisor.
Areas where the abatement of ACM is taking place will be fully
enclosed with a sealed containment," she added.  "Constant air
monitoring inside and outside of the containment will be performed
by a licensed industrial hygienist.  We are taking all necessary
precautions to ensure public and Senate staff safety."

According to Malecki, the protective equipment included a sealed
containment area set up to protect people outside the work area.
Those inside the work area wore full-body, disposable coveralls,
gloves, helmets, safety glasses and air-purifying respirators with
HEPA filters.

The Labor Committee's complaint alleges that officers were not
notified of the asbestos hazards and that requests to reassign
officers posted in the area went unanswered, even after a chemical
odor was reported.

Prior to filing the complaint with the OoC, the Labor Committee
brought the matter to the attention of Capitol Police management,
including Chief Phillip Morse.

An announcement was subsequently made at roll call that the
removal work was safe and proper warning signage would be posted.
But officers continued to be stationed near the asbestos removal
areas without receiving protective gear of their own.

According to Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider,
the department took all necessary precautions to ensure officer

"The USCP is unaware of any requirement for an employee who does
not work in or who works near a contained area to have protective
gear," she wrote in an email.

Officers were warned not to enter the contained area, and the
Capitol Police requested and were provided assurances from the AoC
that those conducting the asbestos removal complied with the
highest health and safety standards, Schneider added.

"We are unaware of any reason to believe . . . that these safety
and health precautions were not taken for this project," she

But, according to a witness to the asbestos removal listed in the
Labor Committee complaint, "there were no signs posted in the
immediate areas [of asbestos removal], only yellow tape impeding

"Several times, AoC workers carried buckets of water into the
men's bathroom from the site area, which was also of concern since
that may have been used in their decontamination when leaving the
site," the witness added.

A spokesman for the Office of Compliance confirmed receipt of the
committee's complaint.

"The FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) labor committee filed a
request for inspection regarding asbestos removal in the Senate
tunnels and that request is currently under investigation," the
spokesman said.  "When the investigation is complete, the OoC will
release a report to the parties."

This is not the first time complaints have arisen regarding
asbestos removal on Capitol grounds.

In 2006, six members of the Capitol Power Plant's tunnel crew
alleged the AoC failed to protect them from exposure to asbestos
while they were working inside the infrastructure.  Asbestos
exposure has been linked to respiratory diseases and lung cancers.

At the time, tunnel supervisor John Thayer described the asbestos
level as so dangerous that an employee could "pick it up and put
it in their pockets."

Multiple tests conducted that year by a local environmental
laboratory found asbestos levels above the personal-exposure limit
set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Abatement Begins at The Old Mohawk Tannery
Maryalice Gill for Nashua Telegraph reports that a contaminated
tannery complex that has laid abandoned and dilapidated next to
the Nashua River in the northern part of the city will soon be

On April 23, asbestos removal began at the former Mohawk Tannery,
located at the end of Fairmount Street and Warsaw Avenue, to
prepare the 40,000-square-foot building for demolition in three
weeks, city Brownfields Coordinator Deb Chisholm said.

Riddled by decades of environmental issues, suspicious fires and
vandalism, the tannery has been flagged for removal by the city
for years, but the three parcels comprising the site are still
privately owned by Warren Kean, of Chester Realty Trust.

"It's always a funding issue," Chisholm said.  "We've been trying
to work with the owner to make the site more secure."

After working out an access agreement to perform work to reduce
the risks on the property, the city will spend $185,000 out of its
capital improvement fund to secure and demolish the tannery,
Chisholm said.

From 1924-84, the facility, also known as Granite State Leathers,
produced hides for leather and disposed of odorous sludge and
acidic residues on unlined disposal areas, two of the largest near
the abutting Nashua River.

When the tannery shut down, a few small businesses operated out of
the facility for some time, Chisholm said, but the Environmental
Protection Agency ultimately reached an agreement with Chester
Realty in 2006 that prevented businesses from using the property.
It has been abandoned ever since.

Decades of hazardous disposal practices first earned the 30-acre
site a proposal for the EPA's National Priorities List in 2000, a
list of the most hazardous sites nationwide that warrant EPA

Chester Realty still owns the property, and no developers have
come forth with any serious offers to buy the land, said Tom
Galligani, the city's economic development director.

In years past, and as recently as just this month, the site has
been the source of numerous large-scale blazes -- some
investigated for suspicious activity.

People have used the property to drink, sleep or party for several
years, and in 2009, the second of two suspicious fires prompted
residents from the city's Little Florida neighborhood to form a
crime watch group to keep an eye on the area.

"That whole area has been really inundated with vandals, and it's
been problematic," Chisholm said.

The building itself is a safety hazard, Chisholm said, and safety
personnel avoid entering the tannery when answering calls there.

On April 14, Nashua firefighters fought a fire at the tannery from
outside the building.

That will all soon be over, though, as residents will see
contractors wearing respirators removing asbestos from the site
and transporting it to the city landfill for disposal.  Throughout
the abatement, air monitoring will be performed to protect
residents from any potential hazards, Chisholm said.  Demolition
and clearing of the site should be done by mid-May.

According to the EPA, the former tannery site was still proposed
for the National Priorities List as of 2012, but the city did not
move forward with the listing, which would have made the site
eligible to take advantage of Superfund monies to perform some of
the work.

Chisholm said there is a stigma attached to the list, though
funding is doled out for sites on it based on the risks associated
with the contamination of each one.

"Essentially, what we were trying to do was see if we could find a
developer to get on board and do the cleanup and redevelop the
site," Chisholm said.  "On a national level, this site is not as
contaminated as other sites on the list."

The listing also can deter interest from lending institutions and
banks from investing money into a property, so it would be easier
for a potential developer to get loans to do work on the tannery
site if it were not listed, Chisholm said.

What could happen to those 30 acres someday, with their scenic
riverside views, remains to be seen.

Part of the settlement agreement between the EPA and Chester
Realty says the owner cannot make any profit in the sale, and that
all proceeds would be put toward the cleanup work, which also
complicates the process by which the land will be sold.

In 2009, the EPA did an additional study of the area and
determined that required cleanup after demolition would cost a
developer interested in buying the land $2.5 million to $4 million
to clean up before the land could be used, Chisholm said.

That $4 million price tag, however, is down from the $16 million
that originally was estimated to perform cleanup work seven years

Chisholm said there have not been any direct offers for the site
in recent years, but that some developers have eyed the property,
waiting to see how the future Broad Street Parkway will open up
the area.

The former tannery does not abut the planned roadway, but opening
up access to the Broad Street area would be friendlier to a
possible development than adding traffic through the nearby
neighborhoods to gain access to it.

Anyone interested in buying the property, however, will have to
work with the owner, the EPA, the state's Department of
Environmental Services and the city, as a proposal to buy the land
would first require investing millions of dollars and a plan for
cleanup, Chisholm said.

The city might be considering acquiring at least a portion of the
property, as Mayor Donnalee Lozeau hinted in her State of the City
address in February that the site could possibly be subdivided and
used for a "pedestrian link" to Mine Falls Park.

Whatever the future holds for the tannery, though, it certainly
will be an improvement from its past.

"It's been sitting there for 25 years doing nothing but just
sitting there," Chisholm said.  "The owner is not stepping up to
the plate to get it cleaned up, so really, this demolition is the
first step towards doing that."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Northampton County Addresses Contamination Issues
Pat Guth for The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance relates that Clean-
up of the Northampton County (PA) Courthouse law library has
began, just five years after workers removed asbestos tiles from
the same area inside the courthouse in 2007.  County officials say
they have no idea how asbestos wound up back in the library but
they're determine that -- this time -- all asbestos will be
removed from the busy building.

According to an article in The Express-Times, workers will take
four to six weeks to remove asbestos fibers from the library room
and will have to clean reference books and other items that may
have become contaminated with toxic asbestos dust over the years.

The law library at the courthouse in Easton is just one of three
locations owned by the county that has had to undergo asbestos
removal.  It's been closed for nearly 11 months, shutting its
doors shortly after the EPA was notified that there was indeed
toxic asbestos inside the room.  In addition, a storage area in
the basement is being cleaned as well due to fears that asbestos
dust has accumulated on surfaces there.

Gracedale, the county-owned nursing home, recently contended with
asbestos in their basement as well, and parts of that facility
just reopened after being closed for more than a month.  Employees
at Gracedale and at the other county facilities in question have
continuously complained about the presence of the toxic mineral,
they say, but they have been largely ignored by county officials,
confirms Stephen Barron, a Controller for Northampton County.

Other concerned officials have also been rallying the county to
address the asbestos situation, recognizing the fact that asbestos
exposure can cause the development of diseases such as asbestosis
and mesothelioma.  Ted Harris, who serves on the county employee
safety committee, says he's been after the county to make amends
and to spend money to remove the hazardous material.  The
situation, he says, has improved slightly.  It is likely that
fines will be imposed, he added, though the county hasn't heard
from the EPA in months.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Galway Official Insists Carcinogenic Pipe Is Safe
Enda Cunningham of The Galway City Tribune reports that a Galway
City Council official has denied there is a health risk to the
public water supply from a damaged mains pipe on the Headford Road
which is made from asbestos cement, despite leading national and
international expert opinion to the contrary.

The Galway City Tribune has learned that the damaged pipe on land
at Bothar an Choiste -- which left around 3,000 homes on the east
side of the city without water earlier this month -- is made from
asbestos cement.

Asbestos fibers are a proven carcinogen (cancer-causing), and
special precautions must be taken in handling and disposing of it.

The Council's Director of Services for Transport and
Infrastructure, Ciaran Hayes, told this newspaper that the 21 inch
pipe, which is more than 30 years old, "does not pose a public
health risk".  When asked if asbestos had been found on the site,
he replied "No".

Then asked if there was asbestos in the pipes, Mr. Hayes said:
"Some of the older pipes in the city are made of asbestos cement.
That is a completely different product to asbestos.  It doesn't
pose the same health risk.

"There aren't the fibers that you get from asbestos.  There is no
public health risk," Mr. Hayes told this newspaper April 19.

It's understood that a 'standoff' on the site earlier this week --
where the landowner challenged the Council's right to enter the
land -- arose because of the landowner's concerns about the
presence of asbestos and any potential risk from disturbing it.

Despite Mr. Hayes' assurances, national and international experts
have said asbestos cement does pose a risk.  Professor Muiris
FitzGerald -- Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UCD and a lung
expert -- has previously said that a theoretical risk from
asbestos in water [to the public] exists, including if water is
transferred through the pipes, although the risk is considerably
less than if the particles were airborne.

The Office of Public Works agreed, saying: "Even cement-based
products may release fibers if abraded, mechanically disturbed or

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Bega Valley Proposes Central Waste Facility
Derek Schwarz of Bega District News reports that with the national
spotlight on illegally dumped asbestos, the Bega Valley Shire
Council says practices at the proposed Central Waste Facility will
be enough to protect the community.

However, the council admits that no amount of screening can
"completely eliminate" the risk.

The Bega District News reported last year that the council had
stopped selling garden mulch, after asbestos cement fibers were
discovered in a load sold to a resident at the Merimbula waste

The council said the level of contamination was not a significant
health concern, but it had engaged an expert to inspect all garden
waste before shredding.

In April, the issue reared its head again when Fairfax national
media -- including the Sun Herald, Sydney Morning Herald and the
Canberra Times -- referenced Bega as part of a statewide expos‚ of
asbestos contamination.

The Sun Herald article, "Asbestos, the outlawed fiber with a
licence to kill", listed Bega's mulch among substances that could
"expose current and future generations to the deadly fibers".

Other incidents included asbestos found in Sydney skip bins, 1000
tons of contaminated sand spread at Rockdale Oval and a 30,000-ton
pile dumped at Mangrove Mountain on the Central Coast.

"When broken down, asbestos dust fibers can be carried in the air
and, if breathed in, can cause the deadly lung disease
mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer," the Sun Herald reported.

"It can take from 15 to 60 years after the first exposure for
fatal diseases to develop."

The articles have reignited concerns about future contamination in
the shire, and prompted executive members of the Wolumla Residents
Action Group (WRAG) to write to the council about screening
procedures at the proposed tip in Wanatta Lane.

WRAG argues that planned weighbridge screening -- "a staff member
visually inspecting incoming waste while perched up a ladder" --
is totally unacceptable.

The group called on councilors to insist that a waste sorting shed
is built at the site.

"We don't want to see them do this on the cheap, at the expense of
the surrounding population's health," WRAG spokesman Jeff Smith

"It's too easy for asbestos wrapped up in plastic in a truck to
slip in unnoticed -- it is then put into landfill, where it is
compressed and compacted, crushing any asbestos sheeting.

"The fibers get picked up by the wind and blown all about the

"Blind Freddy can see that's not a good idea.  The council are
making a rod for their own backs."

Mr. Smith demanded to know, given the issue's "monumental
importance", exactly what the risk to residents was and how many
people could potentially be affected.

The council's waste services manager Toby Browne said far from
posing a risk to residents, the proposed Central Waste Facility
would help council to control the possibility of asbestos

"The Central Waste Facility will be . . . licensed by the EPA to
accept asbestos," Mr. Browne said.

"Having an appropriate facility for the lawful disposal of
asbestos is a means by which council is helping to control the
risk posed by asbestos.

"The facility is not in close proximity to residences.

"Provided asbestos is handled lawfully, there should . . . be
minimal risk to anyone throughout the waste supply chain."

The risk, he said, would be slightly higher to the council's
landfill operators if residents and transporters disposed of
asbestos illegally.

However, a waste sorting shed was unnecessary.

"No amount of screening will completely eliminate the possibility
of AC (asbestos cement) contamination," Mr. Browne said.

"It should be pointed out that there are already asbestos fibers
in the air we breathe."

If asbestos-contaminated waste was discovered to have slipped
through, it would be gathered, wetted down and buried "to quickly
eliminate the risk".

The council will launch an initiative later this year, where
community members can buy a pre-paid disposal bag ($10) for small
quantities of asbestos.

Bags can then be returned sealed to waste depots.

Anybody found to have illegally dumped asbestos may be subjected
to legal action.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Advances Seen In Quest for Mesothelioma Solution
Tim Povtak of The Mesothelioma Center states that potential
advances in the diagnosis of mesothelioma and the treatment for
the disease are being reported this week from different parts of
the world, another indication that the fight against this cancer
has become an international battleground.

Australian researchers reported at the annual European Lung Cancer
Conference in Geneva, Switzerland that they have isolated new
blood markers that could dramatically simplify the diagnostic

Researchers from the University of California-San Diego also
reported at the recent annual American Association for Cancer
Research meeting that they have found a new non-small cell lung
cancer vaccine that could translate well for mesothelioma

Both are good news in the world of mesothelioma, the cancer caused
primarily by an exposure to asbestos.  An estimated 10,000
Americans will die annually from asbestos-related diseases, and
the World Health Organization expects 100,000 people
internationally to die from mesothelioma each year.

Finding a more accurate diagnostic tool is critical in helping
mesothelioma patients.  Because mesothelioma has a long incubation
period, the presence of the disease is often masked until it has
progressed to stage III or stage IV, making it almost impossible
to treat successfully.

Once diagnosed, a patient with mesothelioma typically receives a
prognosis that includes 6-18 months to live.

Testing for mesothelioma now often requires a tumor tissue biopsy,
which is an invasive procedure that often is delayed.  And other
simpler tests have been unable to provide a consistently reliable

Scientists from the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI) in
Sydney, Australia, identified a particular molecule, called
microRNA, that is four-times more prevalent in patients with
mesothelioma, than in those without the disease.

The findings came in a small sample that will need to be expanded
before a definitive blood test could be used.

"If doctors could use a diagnostic marker based on a simple blood
test to help with diagnosis, it could circumvent the problem of
availability of tumor tissue and help accelerate the process,"
said Michaela Kirschner, M.D, from the ADRI.  "For a patient, this
could mean appropriate treatment could be instituted at an earlier

The blood test could be simple enough that anyone with prolonged
exposure to asbestos might be interested in taking it, despite not
showing any symptoms.

There have been a number of other blood-based markers identified
in the past for mesothelioma, but none have had a high enough
accuracy rate for routine clinical use.

Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego were
working with a trial that included gene-modified tumor cells that
help the body build an immune response that kills cancer cells.
Lung cancer patients showed an improved survival rate.

Although mesothelioma is distinctly different from non-small cell
lung cancer,  both are difficult to treat.  Advancing treatment
for one often helps the other.

The vaccine is called Belagenpumatucel-L. The recent report
provided an updated survival analysis that included a median
survival of 14.5 months for all patients, with a one-year (55
percent), two-year (35 percent) and five-year (20 percent)

For stage III and IV patients with non progressive disease who
followed chemotherapy the median survival was 44.4 months and the
five-year survival rate was 50 percent, compared to those with
progressive disease, who had only a 14.1 months survival rate and
a 9.1 percent five-year survival rate.

The authors of the report are hoping to move into a Phase III
trial to further evaluate the results.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cabin Full of Carcass Tested for Toxic Fibers
The Associated Press reports that forest officials evaluating how
to dislodge the carcasses of cows found inside a cabin near Aspen
are checking whether the structure has asbestos first.

Options for removing the carcasses include using explosives or
burning down the cabin.

Rangers believe the animals wandered into the cabin during a
snowstorm but then couldn't find their way out.  Air Force Academy
cadets found the carcasses while snowshoeing in late March.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman Steve Segin says rangers visited the
site on April 20 near the Conundrum Hot Springs in the Maroon
Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area.  Segin says no timeline has been
set to decide how to remove the cows, but time is of the essence.
Hot springs are nearby, and rangers want the carcasses gone before
they decompose.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Gillespie Group Gets 4-Classroom Abatement Work
Terry Wright of The Hunterdon County Democrat reports that
asbestos is being removed from four classrooms at South Hunterdon
High School in West Amwell Township.

The board at its meeting Thursday, April 19 accepted the bid of an
East Brunswick firm, The Gillespie Group, to do the work.

Potential bidders examined the rooms early this month and the
quotes were due April 17.

The South administration agreed earlier to use some of the School
Choice money it's getting from the state to cover this and other
capital projects.  It set aside $30,000 for asbestos removal.  The
school also allocated $40,000 for locker replacements, $20,000 to
improve lighting in the high school gym, $30,000 to repair the
parking lot, $10,000 for upgrading interior doors and $20,000
toward "pointing" (replacing the grout) on the exterior brick.
That extensive project will be done over multiple years.

South expects $776,272 in School Choice aid the next school year,
up from $235,510 this year, for students enrolled at South who
live in towns outside the district.  Under the program, the state
pays a per-student fee to the receiving school, based on a

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Media Urged For Coverage Of Liability Bill Issue
Brian Powell at Media Matters For America reports that earlier
this month, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed a bill that
would curb the ability of asbestos-exposure victims to recover
losses from some of the companies that are legally responsible for
their suffering.  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) approved a similar
bill, joining Arizona, Idaho, and Utah, which all passed laws
limiting corporate liability for asbestos-related claims in March.
In recent years, these kinds of laws have passed in fifteen other
states as well.

The rash of eerily similar bills appearing everywhere at once is
not a coincidence.  The legislation is a product of teamwork
between the now-infamous American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC) and Crown Holdings, Inc., a Fortune 500 company that has
spent the better part of the last decade trying to legislate its
way out of compensating cancer and mesothelioma victims who were
exposed to asbestos by a company they purchased in 1963.

Despite this remarkably successful multi-state campaign to absolve
a single corporation of liability to the detriment of thousands of
suffering Americans, the ALEC/Crown crusade has been a quiet one,
thanks to state media institutions that have failed to provide
meaningful coverage of the issue (or, occasionally, failed to
cover it entirely).  As a result, important laws that profoundly
affect the lives of many voters are being approved without serious
public consideration.

Philadelphia-based Crown Holdings began its campaign to eliminate
its asbestos liabilities through legislative action as early as
2001, when it spent $100,000 to influence legislators in its home
state of Pennsylvania.  Despite originally failing early in the
year, the asbestos measure was resurrected successfully in late
2001 as an amendment to another bill.  The move was led by State
House Republican leader Rep. John Perzel, who has subsequently
received tens of thousands of dollars from Crown Holdings over the
past decade.

Perzel was awarded "State Legislator of the Year" from ALEC at the
end of 2001.  ALEC's executive director hailed Perzel as "a leader
who truly personifies the Jeffersonian principles of liberty,
limited government, and free-markets."  But Perzel is now in state
prison, after being convicted this year of helping to divert $10
million in public funds toward Republican campaigns for re-

Perzel's 2001 sleight-of-hand maneuver to resurrect the defeated
asbestos liability provision is still being felt.  With the
momentum of a Pennsylvania victory under its wings, Crown
Holdings, with ALEC's help, would successfully push identical
legislation in 19 other states while employing a strategy of
spending big on lobbyists and political contributions.

Michigan and Minnesota are two of the most recent examples of
these asbestos liability bills reaching the highest level, but the
prominent media institutions in those states covered the issue in
drastically different ways -- one giving the asbestos topic front
page exposure and one failing to cover the topic entirely.

Michigan's two largest newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and the
Grand Rapids Press, fall into the latter category.  A Media
Matters analysis turned up no reporting whatsoever on the state's
asbestos bill, despite public testimony from Crown Holdings'
general counsel explicitly stating that the bill -- and all of the
others they've had passed in other states -- is an ALEC-designed
measure that will help his company specifically at the expense of
exposure victims.

While the Detroit Free Press and Grand Rapids Press was silent,
Progress Michigan was comparing ALEC's model legislation to
Michigan's asbestos bill back in October, when they determined
that the text of the Michigan bill looks to have been "copied-and-
pasted" from the ALEC model.

In contrast, Minnesota's largest newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-
Tribune, reported on ALEC's influence in the Minnesota tort reform
debate on their front page in a 786-word article published in

    A national effort by an $8 billion can manufacturer to shield
itself from costly asbestos lawsuits has reached the Minnesota
Legislature, triggering criticism from victims' advocates, who say
the campaign puts a single corporation's interests over people who
have been harmed by the deadly material.

    Philadelphia-based Crown Holdings Inc., which has three
manufacturing plants in southern Minnesota, is seeking to change
state law to prevent more asbestos claims stemming from a 1960s

    [. . .]

    The company has been helped by the American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC), a business-friendly group that helps
craft model legislation for use in legislatures across the
country.  Minnesota is one of five states considering the proposal
this year.

The Star-Tribune went on to note that "even though it doesn't
mention Crown Cork by name, the bill narrowly targets the
company's interests."  The information exposed by the paper was
subsequently echoed and supplemented around the Internet and in
other Minnesotan papers.

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed the asbestos bill amid the outcries,
and MinnPost.com followed up by noting that the bill was one of
seven vetoed measures this year that was originally crafted by

    The bill was the seventh vetoed measure this year that
originally was drafted and disseminated by the American
Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive, far-right
group that has birthed much of the virtually identical pro-
business, anti-labor legislation that has swept through
statehouses nation-wide over the last two years.

    Five of the vetoed ALEC bills would have reduced corporate
exposure to lawsuits and potential damages in Minnesota.  The
other two are the Voter ID bill and the Castle Doctrine or "Shoot
First" bill.

ALEC has recently announced that they are eliminating their
activities in "non-economic issues," but expect to continue
initiatives such as the asbestos liability bill that they label
"free-market, limited government, pro-growth."

Informing voters about third party influences on state laws that
curb the rights of the most vulnerable Americans is a longstanding
(and, tragically, oft-ignored) duty of the media as the so-called
"fourth branch" of government.  A few more states (MA, WV, TN and
again in PA) have similar asbestos liability bills pending, and
it's up to media institutions in those states to begin informing
their readers on the issue before it's too late.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: A Review On The John Johnson Mesothelioma Case
Michael Hiltzik of The Los Angeles times relates: John Johnson
died in January, his body racked with malignant mesothelioma, a
disease that's almost always caused by asbestos exposure.  The
Marine veteran had sued dozens of companies he believed shared
responsibility for his condition, but he never got his day in

Here's the horrific question now: Did asbestos industry lawyers
deliberately drive Johnson to his death by putting him through a
brutal series of depositions so their clients would save money?

That's what his family, his doctor and his lawyers assert.
Despite affidavits from his doctor stating that 12 hours of
depositions over a few weeks would be about as much as the
69-year-old's health could stand, a Los Angeles Superior Court
judge allowed the companies he was suing a total of 25 hours.

Johnson put off returning to the hospital so he could appear at
every session, including the last, on Jan. 23.  His face contorted
in pain, he gasped out answers to questions from the last of the
dozens of defense attorneys in attendance.  Less than 40 minutes
later, he collapsed.

The very next day he died at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport
Beach.  With him died his family's claims for pain and suffering,
mental anguish and bodily disfigurement, reducing their potential
recovery in or out of court by as much as 70%, in the assessment
of his attorney, Roger Worthington.  What's left are chiefly
claims for medical bills and lost wages and for his wife's loss of
his companionship.

Johnson's family, his lawyers, and his doctor have no doubt that
the defense lawyers stretched out the legal process through what
the family contends in court were "delay tactics and stalling," in
the expectation that he would die before he reached the finish

"I couldn't believe that we had spent so much time trying to save
this guy and these other people come in really trying to kill
him," says Johnson's thoracic surgeon, Robert B. Cameron of UCLA
Medical School.  "You can tell when a lawyer is smelling death --
they were pounding him with the same questions over and over

Says Johnson's widow, Sue: "We tried to keep faith with the law,
because that's what you had to do to get justice for his
excruciating pain.  And that's what accelerated his death.  I
don't understand how the justice system can work like that."

Nobody does.  And that's the real crime in what happened to John

It's not rightful to blame defense attorneys for killing Johnson.
Once a personal injury case gets into the legal wringer, all the
parties are condemned to play out their roles, plaintiffs and
defendants alike; this Darwinian struggle is especially stark when
a terminal disease is involved.

"Anybody who gets sued for millions or tens of millions of dollars
has the right to defend themselves," says Robert E. Thackston --
rthackston@hptylaw.com -- a Dallas product liability lawyer whose
firm represents several defendants in the Johnson case.  "To say
they're not entitled to go ask these questions because the guy is
sick is really not fair."

Asbestos injuries, which stem from industry's coverup of the
hazards of the material dating back some eight decades, overpower
the ability of America's adversarial tort system to balance
competing interests.  As a committee appointed by then-Chief
Justice William H. Rehnquist put it in 1990: "This is a tale of
danger known in the 1930s, exposure inflicted upon millions of
Americans in the 1940s and 1950s, injuries that began to take
their toll in the 1960s, and a flood of lawsuits beginning in the

Today asbestos cases constitute the largest body of mass tort
litigation in the U.S.  And it's a monstrosity.  The problems
identified by Rehnquist's committee 20 years ago persist today:
long delays, oppressive trials, the constant relitigation of
settled issues, and legal costs overwhelming victims' recovery by
a margin of 2 to 1.  The bankruptcies of scores of companies have
wiped out the sources of compensation of hundreds of thousands of
victims, and sent them scurrying to find other deep pockets.

Johnson's case illustrates every one of these shortcomings.  The
Newport Beach man worked as a carpenter, auto mechanic and plumber
from 1961 until 1990.  He was a water skier, a motorcycle racer,
an avid cyclist.  Then one day in early 2010 he couldn't catch his
breath during a ride.  Eventually he was brought in for surgery at
the Veterans Affairs hospital in Long Beach.

"The surgeon opened him up, then closed him up and told him to go
home and die," Sue recalls.  "That's just the way he put it."

Last October, John and Sue Johnson sued 65 companies they thought
likely to have made asbestos-bearing equipment he worked with in
plumbing or automotive repairs.  Among them were dozens of
companies you've never heard of, along with such familiar names as
General Electric and Ford; the list was later cut to 44.  In
November, UCLA's Cameron, who assumed Johnson's treatment from the
Long Beach VA, judged it doubtful that Johnson would survive past
the end of January.  Under state court rules, that prognosis
entitled Johnson to an expedited date for trial, but it was set
for March 26.  (After Johnson's death, the date was moved back to
Aug. 21.)

Then the rhythm of litigation, as immutable as the turning of the
seasons, took over.  California rules allow asbestos defendants 20
hours to question plaintiffs by deposition.  In itself this is an
unusually liberal time frame: In the federal courts the rule is
seven hours and in Texas, the birthplace of asbestos litigation,
six hours per side.

Depositions started on Dec. 12, with Johnson's own lawyers
questioning him in an effort to get his testimony on the record in
case he died before trial.  The defense's turn began on Dec. 19.
In early January defense lawyers told the court that there were so
many of them they couldn't manage with only 20 hours.  A judge
awarded them five more.

Johnson visibly weakened throughout this ordeal.  Videotapes of
the first session show a man with steel-gray hair still exuding
vigor despite his terminal illness, wearing an expression of grim
determination to answer questions posed by as many as 27 defense
lawyers crammed into a San Pedro hotel meeting room or
teleconferencing in.  From her perch in the back of the room
during the December sessions, Sue Johnson said she saw lawyers
playing games on their laptops, shopping online, reading and
answering emails before rising to repeat the same questions their
colleagues had already asked.

By the final session on Jan. 23, Johnson could barely sit straight
in his recliner at home.  He gasped his way through the
interrogation, knowing that unless he completed the deposition to
the last minute all the testimony, including his own, could be
tossed out of court if he died before reaching the witness stand.
Struggling to keep his eyes open, his chest heaving spasmodically
for air, he just made it.  "He was in survival mode; it was
primal," says Worthington, who says eight of his asbestos clients
have died before trial in the last four years.  No one could
witness Johnson's pain and think this is how a civilized society
should treat its mortally ill.

The irony of asbestos law is that there's no real dispute that
mesothelioma is a death sentence, that the asbestos industry is
responsible and that the victims deserve compensation.  The whole
purpose of the procedure to which Johnson and other sufferers are
subjected is to give every defendant the chance to stick someone
else with what could be, depending on the jury, an open-ended
bill.  It's a macabre zero-sum game that squanders millions of
dollars through legal billings and blights the victims' final

The obvious alternative is to deal with asbestos claims
administratively.  Asbestos exposure is largely a thing of the
past, which means the number of new plaintiffs per year is
entering a long decline, from about 3,000 now to an expected 1,000
or so by 2030.

That suggests that calculating the size of a suitable overall
settlement for present and future claims should be relatively
straightforward -- in 2005, Rand Corp. pegged the average jury
award in mesothelioma cases at about $3.8 million.  But previous
attempts to craft such a settlement foundered in squabbling over
whether the compensation was adequate or the deal was
constitutional.  In 1997, the Supreme Court agreed that a
nationwide settlement would "provide the most secure, fair, and
efficient means of compensating victims of asbestos exposure."
But it invalidated a privately negotiated settlement on grounds
that drafting a deal was Congress' job.  An effort by former Sen.
Arlen Specter to create a $140-billion victims' trust fund
collapsed in 2006.  After that, says Deborah Hensler, an asbestos
tort expert at Stanford Law School, the system "resumed its
expensive and in my view tragic course."

Why should that be? Ample precedent exists for the federal
government to get its hands around this public scandal: Industrial
victims such as coal miners suffering from black lung disease and
soldiers exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam have been compensated
by government programs, sometimes funded by industry.  Government
often moves to protect industries from certain costs or
liabilities, a benefaction provided to offshore oil drillers,
nuclear plant builders, and airlines post-9/11.

All these programs were created to keep compensation free of
costly legal maneuvering.  And here we are again.  Asbestos laid
its icy claim on John Johnson's life.  But the legal system was
its accomplice in evil.  Is there no better solution?

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council Member Stops Abatement Work At PS 29
Joanna Prisco of The Carroll Gardens Patch reports that on
April 20, Council member Lander sent a letter to Lorraine Grillo,
President of the NYC School Construction Authority, calling on the
agency to halt planned asbestos abatement work at PS 29 until the
school year has completed.

"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and the lack of clarity,
transparency, and discussion about asbestos abatement at P.S. 29
is of great concern," Lander wrote in the letter.

"At a bare minimum, I believe that the SCA is obligated to hold
off on any asbestos work for at least seven calendar days -- since
public posting of the work was not provided in advance, as
required under the NYC Department of Environmental Protection's
Asbestos Rules and Regulations (Title 15, Chapter 1 of the Rules
of the City of New York), which your staff have indicated will be
followed for the P.S. 29 project," he wrote.

A complete copy of the letter Councilmember Lander sent has been
attached to the article.

Meanwhile, parents plan to protest in front of the school at 6:00
p.m. Monday evening.

Parents of students at PS 29 are up in arms over the recent
announcement that asbestos abatement is planned to start on
Monday, April 23.

"Given the cancer risks associated with airborne asbestos fibers,"
a representative of the parent group wrote to Carroll Gardens
Patch, "it is absolutely beyond me why anyone would allow this to
take place while school is in session."

The letter then goes on to state that a petition has been created
to issue a stop work order.

"PS 29 is an old building and needs work," the petition reads.
"With very little warning, construction began this March.
Beginning a week or two ago, thick amounts of dust began to
appear.  The principal documented the degree of dust in a cell
phone photo she took of a window sill.  (Last month another parent
witnessed a construction worker walking down the stairs -- in
between young children -- carrying a large circular saw with
blades exposed.). . .  This petition represents a formal request
by the PS 29 community to cease all construction work at the
school until the summer break."

PS 29 is also one of 754 schools that the Department of Education
found to contain PCBs in its lighting fixtures.  Despite currently
undergoing a $9 million renovation process, the PCB removal is not
included in planned projects.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Suspected Bag of Carcinogens Dumped on Grimsby
The Grimsby Telegraph reports that disgusted Grimsby residents
have spoken of their shock after a bag believed to contain
asbestos was dumped outside their homes.

The large red bag -- which carried a warning that it contained
asbestos -- was left inside an abandoned shopping trolley on the
pavement close to Duncombe Street car park.

It was spotted by a resident on Tuesday night, April 17, who
contacted the Grimsby Telegraph to express his concerns.

And although the bag and the trolley have now been removed, it
remains a mystery as to who disposed of them.

On April 19, North East Lincolnshire Council said it had no record
of fly-tipped asbestos being reported in Duncombe Street, and had
therefore not arranged for it to be collected.

And Shoreline Housing Partnership, which owns the flats across the
road from where the bag was dumped, was also unaware of the

A resident from the block of flats on the corner of Werneth Road,
who did not wish to be named, described seeing the trolley
containing the red bag being dumped sometime between 5pm and 6pm
on April 17.

He said: "It was a small white Ford van which had a big black
phone number across the left hand side of it.

"It was going towards the Smokers Arms when it pulled up.  The
driver got out and pulled the trolley out from the back, and it
tipped over.  Then he just drove off.

"Later that night I saw it being loaded onto the back of a council
van.  I didn't report it, but if I had known it was asbestos I
would have done.  It's disgusting really, isn't it?  There are a
lot of kids around here out on their bikes."

Gareth Beaton, 28, whose mum Valerie lives in one of the flats on
Duncombe Street, said: "It's quite a nasty thing to do, whoever
did that.  I'm not happy at all.  There are a lot of kids that
play around there and you don't have to touch it to get ill.  You
could end up in hospital with asbestos poisoning."

Neighbour Marie Capes, 40, said: "It's not very safe because
there's a lot of people with children around here.  Why would
somebody do that?"

A council spokesman said: "If residents find any asbestos
materials they should contact the council on 01472 313131.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Howard, Brenner & Nass Launches New Website
The Philadelphia, PA, law firm of Howard, Brenner & Nass, P.C.,
recently launched a new website, providing a valuable online legal
and information resource to current and potential clients.

The site offers helpful information to remove some of the fear and
uncertainty from the legal process, including basic information on
asbestos and mesothelioma laws.

"Our new site is designed entirely with our clients and potential
clients in mind," said Edward M. Nass.  "We certainly hope they
will use it as a resource to answer their initial questions, and
then let us guide them through the legal process personally."

Website visitors learn how the experienced Pennsylvania asbestos
lawyers at Howard, Brenner & Nass, P.C., can assist them with
their legal issue.  The firm has developed a reputation for
maintaining high ethical standards while aggressively representing
clients throughout Pennsylvania in asbestos and mesothelioma legal

Attorneys at the law firm of Howard, Brenner & Nass, P.C., offer
legal counsel primarily in the following areas:

-- Mesothelioma
-- Lung Cancer
-- Larynx & Esophageal Cancer
-- Colon Cancer
-- Asbestosis

Serving clients from Pennsylvania, the firm is dedicated to
defending the rights of victims of mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung,
larynx, esophageal and colon cancer. The new website explains each
practice area of the firm in greater detail.

Howard, Brenner & Nass, P.C., a mesothelioma law firm in
Philadelphia, has proudly served asbestos victims since 1983.  As
Pennsylvania mesothelioma and lung cancer lawyers, we take great
pride in obtaining positive results for those in need in the
Philadelphia metropolitan area.  Our diligence and legal savvy are
reflected in the quality of work we produce and the level of
service we provide.  To learn more, please visit the firm's new
Web site at http://www.asbestosanswersnow.com/or call toll free
at 855-546-4600.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Fibers Ruled Out as COD of Ex-Factory Hand
The Staffordshire Newsletter reports that an ex-Doxey factory
worker's death from a lung disease was caused by a natural
condition, not asbestos exposure, a coroner has said.

Robin Tooth, of Fernleigh Gardens, had worked at Universal
Grinding Wheels for more than 30 years and during this time
asbestos had been removed from a roof in the area he was based,
Cannock Coroner's Court was told.

The inquest heard on April 19 that Mr. Tooth had raised concern at
the time that no face mask was provided for him.

He had worked in the No 3 factory, where his job involved grinding
wheels down to a specific size, and in 1999 he was made redundant.

He went on to work at Sandmaster in Hixon, making sand pads, and
left in 2007.

The same year he developed "an incessant cough" and underwent lung
function tests at Stafford Hospital.  He was initially diagnosed
with industrial lung disease.  His health deteriorated and at the
end of 2011 he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring
of the lungs.

After two weeks in Stafford Hospital he was transferred to
Katharine House Hospice, where he died on January 16 aged 69.

Pathologist Dr. Paul Hiley told the inquest that Mr. Tooth had not
suffered pleural plaques an indicator of asbestos exposure.  The
scarring on his lungs was of a different type to that seen in
cases of asbestosis, Dr. Hiley said, and Mr. Tooth's condition had
most likely been caused by an autoimmune condition, meaning his
body had been attacked by its own immune system.

The inquest heard that Mr. Tooth had smoked for just 18 months
during his teenage years, and he was "always a hard-working man".

His death was caused by usual-interstitial pneumonitis, Dr. Hiley

South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh recorded a verdict of
death by natural causes.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Pleads Guilty to Health Violations
ClickOnDetroit.com reports: At more than 100 years old, the old
McMillian School on West End Street was an eyesore that needed to
be demolished.

Ashok Badhwar's Glo Wrecking Co. got the job.  However, according
to court documents, Badhwar's company knew there was asbestos in
the building, but failed to follow safety procedures during
demolition and disposal, possibly endangering those who live

In federal court, Badhwar pled guilty to violating the Clean Air
Act.  He told Local 4's Kevin Dietz that he did not intentionally
spread asbestos, which can cause very dangerous forms of cancer,
into the neighborhood where people were living, nor was he trying
to save money by skipping the expensive demolition costs.  He said
simply, his workers messed up.

"My guys made a mistake and I being the owner of the company, I
take responsibility," Badhwar said at his Bloomfield Hills home.

He also said there was no danger to families in the neighborhood,
because he said no one lives in the area.

"In the school district the families are very far from there,"
Badhwar said.

That same day, Local 4 talked to Lyn Woston who, with her
grandchildren, lives less than 100 yards from the demolition site.

She said she watched the process and worried workers were moving
too quickly.

"Didn't spray nothing, didn't let us know what was going on,"
Woston said.

Woston said she thinks Glo Wrecking skipped the proper asbestos
removal procedures because it would have cost Badhwar more money.

"His balance, what he got would be less.  That's why he didn't
clean it up," Woston said.

Woston isn't the only person living in the danger zone.  There are
several homes close by where families with children live.  Across
the street are a church and more homes.  Woston said she's worried
about the dangerous chemicals and the impact it has on children
who play outside.

She said she's glad Badhwar is going to federal court because of
the incident, but doesn't think justice will be served.  She hopes
the judge thinks of the children who may suffer and the families
who can't afford to fight for what's right when deciding what to
do with the business owner from Bloomfield Hills.

"You can't fight them, how can you fight them? You can't fight a
rich person," she said.  "If he's rich, he probably won't go to
jail.  Community service."

Badhwar may not have noticed the families living next door because
according to federal documents, he was not on site during the
demolition.  In fact, no foreman or any employee with experience
with asbestos removal was at the property.

When the crews busted up the debris, they loaded it on a truck and
headed to a landfill outside of Canton -- a landfill that does not
accept hazardous material.  A Department of Environmental Quality
inspector spotted the truck leaving the site and stopped it before
it could unload.  Tests showed the truck was loaded with asbestos.
Still, Badhwar told Local 4 is was all just a misunderstanding.

He said he pled guilty because his "guys made a mistake."  He
wouldn't comment if he would still take responsibility for their
actions if it meant he would have to serve jail time.

On May 3, Badhwar will be back in Detroit, but not doing any
demolition work.  He will be facing a federal judge who will
decide if the misdeeds deserve fines, prison time, or both.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Low Level Hazard Declared After Birmingham Blaze
Brett Gibbons of The Trinity Mirror reports that people were
warned to keep doors and windows closed in an asbestos scare
following a fierce fire at a Birmingham factory on Saturday,
April 21.

More than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze on Saturday morning at
Chidlow and Cheshire in Spring Hill, Winson Green.

Flames and plumes of smoke could be seen from several miles away
at the height of the blaze.

Roads around the industrial unit, which manufactures spares and
accessories for the automotive industry, were closed for most of
the day and fire crews were damping down the wreckage after
bringing the blaze under control.

The alarm was raised at 3:45 AM and fire crews from the Black
Country and stations across Birmingham rushed to the scene.

Local authority teams were sent to the site to monitor levels of
asbestos contained in the badly damaged roofing materials.

Mark Lawton, a station commander at West Midlands Fire Service,
said: "Ten fire engines and a hydraulic platform were alerted to a
severe fire at the single-storey factory unit.

"Teams from Ladywood, West Bromwich, Hay Mills, Sheldon, Oldbury,
Aston, Highgate and Ward End spent several hours fighting the
blaze and stopping it spreading towards a nearby housing estate
and other industrial units.

"Five main jets and a monitor on the hydraulic platform were used
to control the fire."

The fire chief said levels of asbestos in the roof turned out to
be low but precautions should still be taken.

"As a fire service, we would class this as a low level of
asbestos, but we would urge residents nearby to keep their doors
and windows closed if there is any smoke," added Mr. Lawton.

"We have called in a local authority team to help clear debris and
the asbestos from the fire."

Buses had to be diverted in the aftermath of the fire and police
officers were used to control traffic heading into the city centre
for weekend shopping and to attend Birmingham's St. George's

The factory unit is situated in Steward Street, near the City
Hospital in Winson Green.

Fire crews were expected to spend most of the day cleaning up
after the blaze and traffic was disrupted for much of the day.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Chidlow and Cheshire employs about 20 people and specializes in
the manufacture of clips and cables for batteries.

It is not the first time the factory has hit the headlines.  In
September 2007 police investigating a break-in at the premises
discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb being used as a

At the time factory owner Graham Chidlow admitted: "We've been at
this factory since 1964 and the bomb itself was here when we
arrived.  It had been used as a doorstop ever since.  I had no
idea what it was!"

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Holds Contaminated Turbine Due For India
Matt Nippert at Stuff.co.nz reports that the old Marsden B power
station is sitting in bits on the docks in Northland, frozen by a
court order.

The ill-fated power station -- built in the 1970s but never used
-- was due to be shipped out to India and reassembled.

But engineering firm South Pacific Industrial and the power
station's new Indian multinational owners have fallen out over a
$2.5 million asbestos removal bill.

The plant's 200-ton oil-fired generator was frozen by a court
order weeks before it was due to be shipped.  Marsden B was
purchased by Bangalore-based United Telecoms for $20.4 million in
2009 but a dispute with South Pacific Industrial over unpaid bills
has interrupted the sale.

In the High Court at Whangarei, Justice Heath ruled the dismantled
power plant should not be loaded on board a ship due to dock at
North Port at Marsden in early May as planned, amid reservations
from the bench over the credibility of evidence provided by the
Indian firm.

South Pacific Industrial was awarded a $9 million contract last
year to dismantle the generator and the 4000-ton steel structure
surrounding it.  The company's managing director, Ross McKenzie,
said the scale of the operation -- involving 60 people working for
nine months -- was unprecedented.

"It's a unique job, a dismantling job like nothing that has even
been seen in New Zealand.  It's been an absolute first," he said.

A dispute over higher-than-expected levels of asbestos in the
plant led to South Pacific Industrial claiming it was due an
additional $2.5 million.

In initial hearings, Justice Heath was unwilling to make orders
that would prevent the turbine being shipped out.  United Telecoms
plans to reassemble the plant in India and become a major power
generator in the subcontinent.

Initial freezing orders were considered only for the scrap metal
from the structure -- estimated to be worth $1.3 million -- but
Justice Heath expressed "reservations" about the evidence of a
United Telecoms director after revelations that all the metal had
been sold six months ago and the proceeds already remitted to

Justice Heath said earlier claims from the director that proceeds
from the sale of the scrap metal could be used to settle any
possible award was "inaccurate, to use a neutral term".

The judge froze the turbine on the wharf and said he hoped the
United Telecoms director would be able to clarify his evidence at
a telephone conference scheduled for April 23.

The latest stoush over Marsden B adds to the tortured history of
the facility.  The oil-powered 250MW power plant, part of Prime
Minister Rob Muldoon's infamous "Think Big" plans, was built in
the 1970s but mothballed in 1978 without ever having been fired
up.  The plant was inherited by Mighty River Power in 1999, but
the state-owned company's plan to revive the facility using coal
power was stymied by a high-profile campaign led by Greenpeace.


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