NEW YORK — The Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust in New York is in breach of a 1994 indemnity agreement among asbestos producer Johns-Manville Corp. and asbestos product distributors, so it should be ordered to pay its share of $170 million the Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust in California has paid to claimants, the Thorpe Trust says in a Feb. 15 answer and counterclaim in New York federal bankruptcy court (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 1:17-ap-1186, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House of Representatives on March 8 approved a measure proponents claim will shed more light and transparency into the asbestos litigation and bankruptcy claims process.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) released a 28-page report March 8 stating that asbestos bankruptcy trusts are paying claimants less and are running out of money to pay future claimants, with overpaid lawyers looking to defraud the trust system to blame in part.
NEW YORK — A Texas law firm will take its fight to hold Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurance broker independently liable for asbestos personal injury claims to New York federal court, filing a notice of appeal Feb. 12 of a bankruptcy judge’s ruling barring the firm’s in personam claims against the broker (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 1:18-cv-01228, S.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. — Reorganized Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc. will pay $775,000 to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to settle the authority’s indemnity and restitution claims for removal of G-I’s asbestos-containing material in authority buildings, according to a stipulation and order filed Feb. 2 in New Jersey federal bankruptcy court (In re: G-I Holdings Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 27 confirmed the revised plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) over the objections of several asbestos claimants who said the plan’s treatment of claimants who have not yet developed an asbestos disease is unlawful and the plan was proposed in bad faith (In re Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH — Two insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. are the only parties to object to the company’s plan of reorganization, and the objections are more like “caveats” that should be resolved in time for the plan confirmation hearing, the insurers said Feb. 20 in an objection and a joinder filed in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO — Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. on Feb. 21 modified its plan of liquidation and disclosure statement to answer questions by three insurers whose $9.78 million settlement offer was rejected by the debtor and who filed the only objection to the disclosure statement in the Illinois federal bankruptcy court case (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — An asbestos liability insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. asked a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge Jan. 29 to enforce the protective injunction in the debtor’s reorganization plan to halt claimants in Montana from pursuing asbestos claims against the insurer and to impose sanctions on the claimants’ attorneys for continuing to prosecute the claims despite a prior order (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania insurance guaranty association will pay $6 million to the asbestos trust planned in the Chapter 11 case of debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. to resolve a coverage dispute involving five policies issued to Hamilton by now-insolvent insurers, with a federal bankruptcy judge approving the deal Feb. 14 (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
JACKSON, Miss. — Nothing in the state’s precedent or the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) precludes setting off an asbestos verdict with amounts recovered from asbestos trusts, a divided Mississippi Supreme Court held Feb. 15 (Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Bennie Oakes, et al., No. 2015-TS-00644, Miss. Sup., 2018 Miss. LEXIS 67).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 17 approved in a minute order a settlement between Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and the joint scheme administrator for two insolvent British insurers, setting claim values for the debtors in the insurers’ run-off proceedings (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimants in its bankruptcy case do not have standing to challenge subpoenas served by insurers to asbestos claims-processing facilities seeking evidence of fraud in the asbestos trust system, and besides, the information sought is relevant to the debtor’s declaratory judgment action against the insurers, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Feb. 12 (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 378).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. sought relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay Feb. 13 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court so it can pursue $2.8 million in reimbursements from other insurers for settlement payments made to asbestos personal injury claimants under a 2009 agreement (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA — An appellate court erred in concluding that Pennsylvania’s Fair Share Act overrode the existing per capita equal share basis for dividing liability in asbestos cases and in allowing a jury to consider bankrupt defendants as well, a couple told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Jan. 26 (William Roverano, et al. v. John Crane Inc., et al., Nos. 58 EAL 2018, Pa. Sup.).
CLEVELAND — Testimony that cumulative asbestos exposures all contribute to mesothelioma does not meet the standard for causation in Ohio, the state’s supreme court held Feb. 8 in reversing a ruling that affirmed a more than $1 million judgment against Honeywell International Inc. (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 2016-1372, Ohio Sup.).
DENVER — The city of Colorado Springs’ complete demolition of an office building did not constitute construction or maintenance of the facility and did not waive its sovereign immunity protection against an asbestos claim, the Colorado Supreme Court held Feb. 5 (Smokebrush Foundation, et al. v. City of Colorado Springs, No. 2018 CO 10, Colo. Sup.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC is willing to take $750,000 in cash now from a purchaser of a defunct insurer’s asbestos policy rather than wait for years to see if it can collect the policy’s remaining $3.75 million from the insurer’s liquidation proceedings, Bestwall says in a Feb. 1 motion in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC asked a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 1 to appoint Dallas attorney Sander L. Esserman to represent future asbestos personal injury claimants in the case (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
PHOENIX — An Arizona jury on Feb. 1 returned a defense verdict for CertainTeed Corp. after hearing earlier in the day that plaintiffs had not shown asbestos exposure from the company’s pipe and that the case rests on pieces of evidence taken out of context, sources told Mealey Publications (Francisco Herrera, et al. v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. CV2014-009632, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.).