WILMINGTON, Del. — A request by Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. to set a bar date for filing indirect talc claims should be denied because the debtor is not allowed to restrict claims by nondebtor parties, especially when the term “indirect” is so ill-defined in the request, a group of insurers say in a Nov. 18 objection filed in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Putting off an attempt by an asbestos insurer to have a jury hear its declaratory judgment claims against Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. will only cause unnecessary delay and prejudice, the insurer argues in an Oct. 30 reply brief in North Carolina federal court (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-467, W.D. N.C.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A cement company will have more than $17,000 in allowed, unsecured claims in the Chapter 11 case of Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. to settle claims against the debtors for cleanup costs for a Superfund site in Washington, with a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge approving the deal in a Nov. 14 minute order (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury in Louisiana on Nov. 8 awarded $7,750,661.45 after finding that a man’s mesothelioma arose as a result of exposure to asbestos the man experienced while employed as a chemical engineer (James L. Gaddy v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 19-12926, E.D. La.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Nov. 13 declined to review a bankruptcy court’s ruling in a dispute between two asbestos trusts over indemnification for the payment of claims, saying an interlocutory review would not help resolve the row (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 19-04039, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197020).
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 partially granted and partially denied a petition by numerous environmental advocacy groups that challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Evaluation Rule (RER) for determining the proper uses for various chemicals. The panel concluded that the petitioners’ opposition to the EPA’s exclusion of “legacy uses” and “associated disposals” from the definition of “conditions of use” was valid (Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 17-72260 [consolidated], 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34064).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri court on Nov. 7 entered a mandate finding that a Missouri trial court lacked jurisdiction over a Virginia resident’s ovarian cancer case that produced a $110 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier (Lois Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED106190, E.D. Mo.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Over the objections of an insurer, a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 12 allowed seriously ill asbestos disease sufferers to sidestep the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. so they can be deposed before they die (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive Corp.’s presence in New York, as well as a woman’s use of its talcum powder there, keeps an action in the state, a justice held in declining to dismiss a flight attendant’s asbestos action for forum non conveniens in an opinion posted Nov. 6 (Linda English, et al. v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190346/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5901).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. on Nov. 1 sought permission from Delaware federal bankruptcy court to offer more than $1.4 million in incentive and retention payments to two executives and 16 members of the company’s management team to help “ensure a successful outcome” of the bankruptcy case (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES — A California jury on Oct. 11 handed Johnson & Johnson its latest victory in asbestos-talc litigation, finding that a man suffering from mesothelioma had not been exposed to asbestos in the company’s baby powder (George Crudge, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. BC685901, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. — While having seriously ill asbestos disease sufferers deposed before they die may be a good idea in theory, asbestos claimant representatives in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. do not have standing for lifting the automatic stay to allow the depositions to take place, an insurer of the debtor tells a New Jersey bankruptcy court Oct. 29 (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal court should uphold a bankruptcy court’s denial of an insurer’s bid to vacate a stipulated order barring its contribution claims against other insurers for asbestos claims against Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc., the debtor argues in an Oct. 28 response brief on appeal (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-5648, W.D. Wash.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A dispute between insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. and Montana state court asbestos personal injury claimants will not be settled on appeal to federal district court but instead will be decided by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Delaware federal magistrate judge says in an Oct. 30 recommendation to forgo mediation (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 1:19-cv-1871, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188053).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The committee representing asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC insists in an Oct. 21 reply brief that a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge’s issuance of an injunction protecting the debtor and affiliates, including Georgia-Pacific LLC, from asbestos claims meets the standards for reconsideration (Bestwall LLC v. Those Parties Listed on Appendix A to Complaint, et al., No. 17-03105, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Oct. 23 approved the disclosure statement for the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and scheduled the plan confirmation hearing for early spring 2020 (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
ROME, Ga. — A Georgia federal bankruptcy court should not lift the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of The Fairbanks Co. to allow an insurance coverage suit to proceed because the bankruptcy case, nearing completion, could easily be derailed by the move, the debtor says in an Oct. 16 objection to an insurer’s lift stay motion (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. on Oct. 4 appealed to Delaware federal court a bankruptcy court’s finding on remand that the insurers can be sued in state court by asbestos claimants who say their diseases were caused by W.R. Grace’s mining operations in Libby, Mont., and by the negligence of the insurers (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 1:19-cv-1871, D. Del.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Asbestos claimant representatives in the Chapter 11 case of sheet metal accessory and equipment company Duro Dyne National Corp. asked a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court on Oct. 4 for relief from the automatic stay so terminally ill asbestos disease sufferers can be deposed before they die (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fourth District Louisiana Court of Appeal on Oct. 21 reversed a trial court’s ruling that a 2013 settlement between an insurer and its insured for underlying asbestos liabilities prohibits third-party plaintiffs from recovering damages from the insurer after determining that the settlement essentially annulled the policies at issue in violation of Louisiana law (Nelcome J. Courville Jr., et al. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., et al., No. 2019-C-0902, La. App., 4th Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 1862).