JACKSON, Miss. — A B-reader’s claim that he lost millions of dollars in income after a consulting firm designed an audit with the intent of finding improper asbestos bankruptcy trust submissions supports jurisdiction in Mississippi and a tortious interference claim but not one for negligence, a federal judge said Jan. 11 in denying a motion to dismiss or transfer the case.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The main asbestos insurer for Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. reiterated in a Dec. 31 reply brief in North Carolina federal court its belief that the debtor’s proposed plan of reorganization is fatally flawed because it does not protect the debtor’s insurers from fraud by asbestos claimants and their attorneys, adding that contrary to Kaiser’s assertions, it has standing to oppose the plan.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 29 issued a final decree and closed the Chapter 11 cases of asbestos debtor Duro Dyne National Corp. and affiliates, finding there was “good and sufficient cause” to end the jointly administered case.
NEW YORK — A reinsurer gave notice on Dec. 30 that it is appealing a New York federal judge’s finding that the reinsurer is responsible for its part of an excess insurer’s $35 million asbestos claims settlement and award of $2,966,993.31 prejudgment interest to the insurer.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall LLC should be allowed to send personal injury questionnaires to asbestos claimants and examine data from asbestos trusts to get an accurate estimation of Bestwall’s asbestos liability for its Chapter 11 case, the United States says in a Dec. 28 statement of interest filed in a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court .
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) announced Dec. 21 that a final deregulatory rule has been published in the Federal Register under which most business and individual Chapter 11 bankruptcy debtors — including those in the largest reorganization cases — can now file fewer financial reports during their cases.
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 11 approved a request by Chapter 11 debtor Garrett Motion Inc. to hold a hearing to estimate the value of claims filed in the case by former parent company Honeywell International Inc., which says the claims are worth more than $1 billion (In re Garrett Motion Inc., et al., No. 20-bk-12212, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Insurers in the Chapter 11 case of Imerys Talc America Inc. on Dec. 8 took their fight against the appointment of the debtor’s candidate for future claimants’ representative (FCR) to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, filing a notice of appeal of a Delaware federal court’s affirmance of the FCR rulings (Cyprus Historical Excess Insurers v. Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., Nos. 19-944, 19-1120, 19-1121, 19-1122, D. Del.).
ST. LOUIS — A federal bankruptcy judge in Missouri on Dec. 15 lifted the Briggs & Stratton Corp. (B&S) automatic stay, allowing asbestos plaintiffs to pursue the company’s insurers in New York state court actions (In re: Briggs & Stratton Corp., et al., No. 20-43597-399, E.D. Mo. Bkcy).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 15 modified the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. to allow it to participate as a respondent in an appeal by talc retailer Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (J&J) of a $117 million jury award against the companies in New Jersey state court for a couple’s asbestos talc personal injury claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 23 entered a default order allowing Chapter 11 debtor ON Marine Services Company LLC to establish a qualified settlement fund (QSF) to hold nearly $31 million in insurance settlement proceeds earmarked for an asbestos personal injury trust (In re: ON Marine Services Company, LLC, No. 20-2007, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 30 gave Chapter 11 debtors Aldrich Pump LLC and Murray Boiler LLC more time to file a plan of reorganization under Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to resolve asbestos personal injury claims (In re Aldrich Pump LLC, et al., No. 3:20-bk-30608, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp. on Dec. 8 asked a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court to issue a final decree and close its case, saying its bankruptcy estate is “fully administered” and its reorganization plan creating an asbestos trust has been “substantially consummated” (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27968, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — It would be “grossly inequitable” and likely legally improper under New York law to permit an excess insurer’s argument that a de facto merger occurred and that a dissolved construction company’s asbestos liabilities were “secretly and unknowingly” discharged in a parent company’s bankruptcy years earlier, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York said Dec. 4 in reopening the case but denying relief (In re: Eastman Kodak Co., No. 12-bk-10202, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2020 Bankr. LEXIS 3393).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 2 confirmed the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc., which establishes a liquidating trust to resolve asbestos claims, and allowed the debtor to enter into settlements with 109 asbestos claimants who had agreed to mediate their claims rather than continue to litigate them in the tort system (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — Asbestos plaintiffs and a shipyard sparred in a trio of early November reply briefs after motions for reconsideration were filed challenging rulings excluding an expert’s tobacco opinions in a lung cancer case and the admissibility of bankruptcy and settlement documents at trial (Callen Dempster, et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-95, E.D. La.).
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals court on Nov. 17 granted interlocutory review in a second asbestos-talc case challenging the standard for interpreting prima facie evidence of causation required by the state’s asbestos claims act (Johnson & Johnson, et al. v. Estate of Catherine Shrodes, et al., No. A2110083, Ga. App.).
NEW YORK — A woman currently pursues an asbestos-talc defendant only in New York, where the defendant’s principal place of business exists, a justice in the state said Nov. 17 in denying a motion to dismiss (Angela Brown Ruiz v. Revlon Consumer Products Corp., No. 190068/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK — A New York state justice on Nov. 16 denied a motion to dismiss a lung cancer victim’s asbestos injury lawsuit, ruling that his widow had raised genuine issues of fact and that contrary opinions by medical experts weighed against dismissal of the case (Laura Avakian, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190036/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2020 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 9464).
BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal bankruptcy judge in a Nov. 4 docket entry closed an adversary case in which she held that Pennsylvania state court asbestos claimants cannot hold former Chapter 11 debtor L.K. Comstock & Co. Inc. liable for their injuries because their claims are barred by the discharge injunction in the 20-year-old bankruptcy case (In re RailWorks Corporation, et al. [L.K. Comstock & Company, Inc. v. Irene Reibie, et al.], No. 01-64463, Adv. No. 1:19-ap-199, D. Md. Bkcy.).