Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy

  • July 25, 2017

    Asbestos Claimants Drop Appeal Due To Failure Of Energy Future’s Plan

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Four asbestos claimants battling Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) over its handling of asbestos claims in its plan to reorganize presented the Delaware federal court on July 21 with a proposed stipulation and order dismissing the claimants’ appeal of the plan confirmation, due to EFH’s inability to consummate the plan (Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 17-229, D. Del.).

  • July 24, 2017

    7th Circuit Sends Jurisdiction Dispute In Crane’s RICO Actions To Merits Panel

    CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge on July 11 denied a bid by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. to strike a motion filed by a law firm accused by the company of fraud and racketeering to dismiss an appeal in the dispute, saying the dismissal motion will be decided by a merits panel (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.).

  • July 18, 2017

    Judge Allows Jury To Hear, But Limits, Asbestos Fiber Causation Hypothetical

    MADISON, Wis. — To the extent that science recognizes it as a fact, a plaintiff may introduce expert testimony to the effect that a single asbestos fiber can theoretically cause mesothelioma,   so long as neither the plaintiff nor the expert suggests that this establishes liability, a federal judge in Wisconsin held July 14 (Patricia L. Carroll, et al. v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 15-373, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108992).

  • July 17, 2017

    ASARCO’s Contribution Suit Stayed By Judge Pending Cleanup Plan’s Approval

    SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah on July 11 stayed a lawsuit brought by American Smelting and Refining Co. LLC (ASARCO) seeking contribution toward $8.7 million it has spent remediating a former mining site near Park City, Utah, pending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of a cleanup plan (ASARCO LLC v. Noranda Mining Inc., No.12-cv-527 DN, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107957).

  • July 13, 2017

    Court: Res Judicata Bars Wrongful Death Consortium Claim

    LOS ANGELES — A couple’s previous asbestos action bars a widow’s wrongful death action seeking loss of consortium, a California appeals court held July 11 while also concluding that the judge below properly offset an economic award for funeral and burial expenses with proceeds from settlements with asbestos bankruptcy trusts (Janet Stewart v. Union Carbide Corp., No. B267405, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4).

  • July 5, 2017

    Bankruptcy Judge Removes Consent Finding In Coverage Dispute Ruling

    CHICAGO — An insurer successfully petitioned an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge to remove a finding in his ruling denying the insurer summary judgment in a coverage dispute with asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Oakfabco Inc. that the insurer waived its right to object to the ruling, according to a June 29 amended opinion (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1856).

  • June 30, 2017

    General Motors Implores Bankruptcy Court To Decide Manville Injunction Dispute

    NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge should exercise jurisdiction over General Motors LLC’s bid for declaratory relief against the asbestos trust established in Johns-Manville Corp.’s Chapter 11 case and find that GM’s state court claims for recovery of money for payments made to a widow are not barred by protective injunctions issued in the bankruptcy case, GM says in a June 23 response to the trust’s motion to dismiss (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [General Motors LLC v. Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust, et al., No. 1:17-ap-1032], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

  • June 29, 2017

    Law Firm Seeks Dismissal Of John Crane’s Appeal Of RICO, Fraud Claims

    CHICAGO — An attempt by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. to pursue fraud and racketeering claims against two law firms and their founders is barred by the doctrine established in Rooker v. Fid. Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923), and D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983), one law firm and its principals argue in a June 28 bid to have the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals dismiss the action (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.).

  • June 22, 2017

    THAN Trust Implores Court To End Insurers’ Pursuit Of Audit Rights

    WILMINGTON, Del. — An amended lawsuit filed by insurers seeking to audit the T H Agriculture & Nutrition LLC (THAN) asbestos trust for evidence of fraud should be dismissed because the insurers already conducted a court-ordered audit and have produced no evidence of wrongdoing for the trust to pursue, the trust, THAN and its parent argue in separate briefs supporting their motions to dismiss filed June 9 in Delaware state court (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).

  • June 22, 2017

    Amici: Causation Ruling Adds To Post-Bankruptcy Wave Spread Of Litigation Targets

    LOS ANGELES — Loosening the causation standard in asbestos cases to include safety equipment makers would only draw more cases to California’s already burdened judicial system and is against public policy, amici told a California appeals court May 10 (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B276847, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

  • June 22, 2017

    Honeywell, Ford Say Limits On Claimants’ Data Make Access Useless

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Although a bankruptcy court allowed Honeywell International Inc. and Ford Motor Co. access to asbestos claimants’ data in nine Chapter 11 cases to investigate fraud in the claims process, limits placed on how the data can be used make the access worthless for the companies’ purposes, they argue in a June 2 brief on appeal in Delaware federal court (In re:  Motions Seeking Access to 2019 Statements, No. 16-1078, D. Del.).

  • June 22, 2017

    With Summary Judgment Denied, Coverage Row Bound For Trial

    CHICAGO — A dispute over how much coverage from an insurer exists for asbestos claims against Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. must be decided at trial because the insurer’s policy and binder are too ambiguous to decide the issue on summary judgment, an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge held June 12 (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).

  • June 22, 2017

    Oakfabco Must Produce Asset Sale Information To Asbestos Claimants

    CHICAGO — Asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of defunct boiler manufacturer Oakfabco Inc. got a boost in their efforts to maximize their potential recoveries from the company June 8 when an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge granted their request to conduct discovery into the debtor’s 2009 sale of its remaining operating assets (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).

  • June 20, 2017

    Law Firm Seeks Review Of Quantum Meruit Relief Ruling In Suit With Insolvent Insurer

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — In a dispute over payment on work done for an insolvent insurer’s liquidator, a law firm petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court on June 5 to answer “when a contingency fee lawyer is terminated by the client, may the district court consider the contingency fee agreement as one of the factors in awarding quantum meruit relief to the discharged lawyer?” (Faricy Law Firm, P.A., v. API Inc., Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. A16-1539, Minn. Sup.).

  • June 16, 2017

    Federal Judge Confirms Garlock Sealing’s Joint Plan Establishing Asbestos Trust

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on June 12 confirmed the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC after an insurer’s remaining objections to the plan were resolved at a one-day bankruptcy court confirmation hearing in May (In re:  Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-275, W.D. N.C.).

  • June 16, 2017

    Kaiser Gypsum Gets 3 More Months To File Reorganization Plan

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With negotiations ongoing among Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. and its various stakeholders, including asbestos personal injury claimants, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on June 14 gave the company three more months to file a plan of reorganization (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

  • June 14, 2017

    Court Schedules Discovery Into Rapid-American, Insurer Policy Limits Dispute

    NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on June 6 issued a scheduling order for fact discovery and identification of expert witnesses in a dispute between Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and one of its insurers over whether a policy has a $7 million or $14 million limit for asbestos liability claims (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

  • June 12, 2017

    Parties Brief Proper Standard In Asbestos Case Against Respirator Maker

    LOS ANGELES — Loosening the causation standard in asbestos cases to include safety equipment makers would only draw more cases to California’s already burdened judicial system and is against public policy, amici told a California appeals court May 10 (William and Becky Tyler, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B276847, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

  • June 6, 2017

    Justice Approves $5M Settlement Of Asbestos Claims In Insurer’s Liquidation

    CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire justice on May 22 approved a $5 million settlement between an insolvent insurer’s liquidator and a manufacturer and its personal injury settlement trust with regard to asbestos bodily injury claims (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Co., No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).

  • June 5, 2017

    ‘Substantial Justice’ In $3.2M Verdict Against Jenkins Bros., Justice Says

    JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. — Saying a $3.2 million asbestos verdict delivered “substantial justice,” a New York justice on May 12 denied a valve maker’s post-trial motion challenging the jury instructions and the exclusion of settled defendants’ interrogatory responses and testimony from a Navy expert (Scott Shays v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 703/2015, N.Y. Sup., Schenectady Co.).