Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy

  • September 19, 2017

    John Crane’s RICO Suit Against Shein Firm Stayed Pending 7th Circuit Decision

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 7 stayed a case filed by John Crane Inc. (JCI) alleging fraud and racketeering claims against an asbestos plaintiffs’ law firm pending a decision by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in appeals filed by JCI and the law firm to the dismissal of identical claims by an Illinois federal court for lack of jurisdiction (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 2:17-cv-02210, E.D. Pa.).

  • September 15, 2017

    Split 9th Circuit Sends Row Over Lawyer’s Trust Claims Ban Back To Trial Court

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal court must decide on remand whether federal or state law controls — and whether a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision impacts — two asbestos trusts’ attempt to enforce a settlement under which an attorney agreed to stop filing claims with the trusts due to his pattern of presenting unreliable evidence, a divided Ninth Circuit panel held Aug. 14 (Michael J. Mandelbrot, et al. v. J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust and Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 15-56430, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17924).

  • September 12, 2017

    Finding That Bankruptcy Asset Sale Bars Take-Home Asbestos Case Stands

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Sept. 8 declined to review an appellate court’s rejection of a widower’s attempt to hold a company liable for his wife’s death from mesothelioma and finding that the company’s “free and clear” purchase of assets in a bankruptcy court auction barred his take-home asbestos exposure claims (Jacqueline S. Wagner, et al. v. Standard Steel LLC, et al., No. 80 EAL 2017, Pa. Sup.).

  • September 12, 2017

    Railroad Asks Mississippi High Court To Allow Setoff Of FELA Asbestos Verdict

    JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court should follow federal common law and allow a defendant to offset a Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) asbestos-related lung cancer award with recoveries the plaintiff received from asbestos bankruptcy trusts, a railroad argues in a Sept. 5 supplemental brief (Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Bennie Oakes, et al., No. 2015-TS-00644, Miss. Sup.).

  • September 8, 2017

    Court Affirms Exclusion Of Asbestos Product ID Testimony As Sanction

    CLEVELAND — A trial judge properly excluded deposition testimony as a sanction for failing to update interrogatories to indicate potential drywall compound exposures the witnesses testified to in asbestos bankruptcy claim forms, an Ohio appeals court held Sept. 7 (Paul Heaton, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 104636, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 3800).

  • August 28, 2017

    Insurer Cannot Litigate Coverage Dispute In State Court, Bankruptcy Judge Says

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 24 denied an insurer’s request to sue a company’s asbestos trust in state court over the amount of coverage owed for asbestos personal injury claims, issuing a strong rebuke to the insurer’s attorneys, who claimed that the trustee knew the claims he submitted to the insurer did not trigger the polices at issue (In re CFB Liquidating Corporation, f/k/a Chicago Fire Brick Co., et al., No. 01-45483, N.D. Calif. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 2411).

  • August 24, 2017

    Asbestos Trusts Seek To Protect Claimants’ Data From Companies’ Fraud Probe

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A bankruptcy court properly placed limits on Honeywell International Inc. and Ford Motor Co.’s access to asbestos claimants’ data from nine asbestos bankruptcy trusts, but it should have gone further and denied access altogether based on the “improper nature” of the companies’ purpose for seeking access, the trusts argue in an Aug. 1 brief on appeal in Delaware federal court (In re:  Motions Seeking Access to 2019 Statements, No. 16-1078, D. Del.).

  • August 24, 2017

    Garlock Drops All Claims Against Law Firms Pursuant To Reorganization Plan

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC on July 28 dismissed all five lawsuits it had filed in North Carolina federal court accusing asbestos plaintiffs’ attorneys of fraud and racketeering, as was agreed to in the company’s confirmed reorganization plan (Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP, et al., No. 3:12-ap-03137; Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Waters & Kraus, LLP, et al., No. 3:14-cv-130; Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Belluck & Fox, LLP, et al., No. 3:14-cv-118; Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Shein Law Center, Ltd., et al., No. 3:14-cv-137; Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, a Professional Corporation, et al., No. 3:14-cv-116,  W.D. N.C.).

  • August 22, 2017

    W.R. Grace Gets Extra Time To Resolve Final 2 Non-Asbestos Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 2 gave reorganized chemical conglomerate W.R. Grace & Co. additional time to resolve the final two non-asbestos claims of the more than 10,000 such claims filed during the company’s drawn-out Chapter 11 case (In re:  W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • August 21, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Asbestos Claimants’ Appeal Of Energy Future’s Plan

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on July 25 dismissed an appeal by four asbestos claimants battling Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) over its handling of asbestos claims in its reorganization plan at the request of the claimants, who stipulated to dismissal of their appeal based on EFH’s inability to consummate the plan (Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 17-229, D. Del.).

  • August 21, 2017

    Jurisdiction Plainly Lacking For Crane’s RICO Claims, Law Firm Tells 7th Circuit

    CHICAGO — A federal court in Illinois correctly dismissed fraud and racketeering claims leveled by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. (JCI) against two law firms and their principals for lack of jurisdiction because the asbestos cases giving rise to the claims did not occur in Illinois, one of the firms argues in an Aug. 16 brief to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., Nos. 17-1809 and 17-1926, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 17-1814, 7th Cir.).

  • August 18, 2017

    Rapid-American Protests Insurers’ Subpoenas To Claims-Processing Facilities

    NEW YORK — Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and the asbestos claimants in its case asked a New York federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 15 to stop the debtor’s insurers from enforcing subpoenas they issued to six asbestos claims-processing facilities, saying the subpoenas are “facially overbroad and seek material that is wholly irrelevant” to the issues in an insurance coverage adversary action (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

  • August 15, 2017

    Federal Jury Hearing Asbestos Case Returns Verdict For John Crane Inc.

    MADISON, Wis. — A federal jury in Wisconsin returned a defense verdict for John Crane Inc. on July 19, finding that the company did not act negligently or defectively design or fail to warn about the alleged dangers posed by its asbestos-containing gaskets and packing (Patricia L. Carroll, et al. v. John Crane Inc., No. 15-373, W.D. Wis.).

  • August 14, 2017

    9th Circuit Overturns Ruling Finding ASARCO’s Cleanup Contribution Suit Untimely

    SEATTLE — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 reversed a federal judge in Montana’s ruling that a contribution lawsuit brought under Section 113(f) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act was barred by the statute of limitations, holding that American Smelting and Refining Co. LLC’s (ASARCO’s) claim did not arise until the entry of a 2009 consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ASARCO v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 14-35723, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S.  App. LEXIS 14781).

  • August 14, 2017

    9th Circuit: Qui Tam Plaintiffs Cannot Intervene In Criminal Forfeiture Action

    SAN FRANCISCO— A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 held that two medical assistants who filed a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act (FCA) against a podiatrist they worked for could not intervene in a criminal forfeiture action brought by the federal government seeking $1.2 million for false billing to Medicare because the employees lacked standing (United States v. Neil A. Van Dyck, et al., No. 16-10160, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14780).

  • August 8, 2017

    Oakfabco Insurer To Pay $4.5 Million To Trust After Battle With Asbestos Claimants

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 4 approved a $4.5 million asbestos insurance coverage dispute settlement between Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. and one of its insurers over objections by asbestos claimants’ representatives, after the insurer added $1 million to the deal (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 2201).

  • August 4, 2017

    South Carolina Jury Awards $300,000 To Worker, Wife In Power Plant Asbestos Trial

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A South Carolina state court jury on Aug. 3 awarded $300,000 to a former power plant inspector and his wife after finding that two defendants negligently exposed the worker to asbestos that caused his mesothelioma (Beverly Dale Jolly, et al. v. General Electric Company, et al., No. 2016-CP-43-01592, S.C. Comm. Pls., Spartanburg Co.).

  • August 3, 2017

    Insurer Seeks To Force Arbitration Of Coverage Dispute With Garlock

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurer of an affiliate of former Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC sued Garlock, its parent and another former debtor affiliate in North Carolina federal court on Aug. 2, seeking to force the Garlock parties to arbitrate a dispute over whether the insurer owes any money to the parties under an excess policy issued in 1983 (Safety National Casualty Corp. v. Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00458, W.D. N.C.).

  • July 28, 2017

    California Jury Awards Couple $5,321,050 For Man’s Mesothelioma

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California jury on July 14 awarded $5,321,050 to a man who allegedly contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during underground work with cement pipe, sources told Mealey Publications (Frank Hart, et al. v. Calaveras Asbestos Ltd., et al., No. RG16838191, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).

  • July 28, 2017

    9th Circuit Lifts Stay In Pfizer Asbestos Liability Case Involving Quigley

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 14 lifted a stay of an asbestos case asking whether Pfizer Inc. is liable for a subsidiary’s products under the Restatement (Second) of Torts, but said the plaintiff may seek to reimpose the stay if the Washington Supreme Court accepts review of a similar case (Sharleen Sprague, et al. v. Pfizer Inc., No. 15-35051, 9th Cir.).