WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bankruptcy court’s ruling on a motion for relief from the automatic stay is a final, appealable order, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Jan. 14 in upholding a decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Ritzen Group, Inc. v. Jackson Masonry, LLC, No. 18-938, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge has taken the advice of a magistrate judge and withdrawn a dispute between insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. and Montana state court asbestos personal injury claimants from mandatory mediation to let the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decide whether to hear an appeal in the case, according to a Nov. 26 district court docket entry (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 1:19-cv-1871, D. Del.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Paddock Enterprises LLC on Jan. 6 became the latest corporate victim to using asbestos in products, with the company filing a Chapter 11 petition in Delaware federal bankruptcy court after a December restructuring of the world’s largest glass bottle manufacturer left it holding all asbestos liabilities from the parent’s production of thermal insulation products in the 1950s (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. making progress on reorganizing by resolving asbestos claims, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 20 gave the companies three more months to remove any lawsuit filed against them to federal court (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC, affiliate Georgia-Pacific LLC and asbestos claimants’ representatives will hit the bargaining table to come up with a way for Bestwall to shed its asbestos liabilities through a bankruptcy trust, with two mediation sessions scheduled under an agreed order filed Dec. 18 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Disputes among Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc., one of its insurers and tort claimants’ representatives are headed to mediation, with a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 26 approving a two-day negotiating session requested by the parties (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 26 gave Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. and affiliates three more months to propose a plan of reorganization on their own (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. will pay more than $7 million to lawyers and other professionals to satisfy their claims for prepetition defense costs under a settlement agreement approved Dec. 13 by a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Dec. 17 approved a settlement allowing Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. to pay a law firm more than $500,000 for work done preparing the talc supplier to file for bankruptcy, after altering the deal at the urging of the U.S. Trustee’s Office (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
RICHMOND, Va. — The asbestos claimants’ committee in the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC lost its bid to appeal the denial of its motion to dismiss the debtor’s case for filing it in bad faith when the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals entered an order Nov. 14 denying permission to appeal (Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants of Bestwall, LLC v. Bestwall LLC, No. 19-408, 4th Cir.).
NEW YORK — One asbestos trust’s fight for indemnification from another trust for settlement payments to asbestos disease sufferers ended Dec. 9 when the parties stipulated to dismiss an adversary case, according to a stipulation and order signed by a New York federal bankruptcy judge (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 1:17-ap-1186, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — Supplemental authority provided by an asbestos plaintiff’s law firm to support its position that its client, not the firm, is the real party in interest for claims against a debtor’s insurance broker actually back the broker’s position that the mislabeling of parties renders the claims invalid, the broker says in its Dec. 16 letter to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in reply (In re Johns-Manville Corp., Marsh USA, Inc. v. The Bogdan Law Firm, No. 18-2531, 2nd Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — Johnson & Johnson prevailed in the latest lawsuit claiming that asbestos in its baby powder caused a woman’s mesothelioma after a California jury found in its favor on Dec. 16, sources told Mealey Publications (Pui Fong, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. BC675449, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
NEW ORLEANS — A jury’s issued an “unconscionably low” award given the evidence of a mesothelioma sufferer’s pain and suffering, a Louisiana court held Dec. 11 (Jerry Bagwell v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 2019-CA-0414, La. App., 4th Dist., 2019 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 336).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A proposed $500,000 settlement with a law firm to pay some of its fees for work done preparing Imerys Talc America Inc. to file a Chapter 11 petition should not be approved because the debtor failed to show that the deal is fair and reasonable, the U.S. Trustee’s Office says in a Dec. 10 objection in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
AKRON, Ohio — A trial court improperly granted summary judgment on an asbestos causation argument the defendant never raised and compounded it by imposing a substantial factor causation standard not in light with the featherweight causation standard applied in Jones Act cases, an Ohio court held in reversing judgment in favor of an employer on Dec. 9 (Diane Shaffer, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 18CA011440, Ohio App., 9th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 5097).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. on Dec. 6 asked a Delaware federal bankruptcy court to give it three more months to propose a plan of reorganization, saying the extension is “both appropriate and necessary” for a successful reorganization (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A jury in New York’s Monroe County awarded $8 million to a civil engineer who suffered occupational asbestos exposure during the monitoring and inspection of spray insulation (Wayne W. Meissner, et al. v. Ridge Construction Corp., et al., No. 2018007953, N.Y. Sup., Monroe Co.).
MINNEAPOLIS — A trial court properly analyzed all eight factors in awarding a terminated law firm a portion of a $21.5 million settlement an asbestos trust received in an insurance dispute, a Minnesota appeals court held Dec. 2 (Faricy Law Firm PA v. API Inc., Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. A19-0846, Minn. App., 2019 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1118).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The total compensatory award and not the resulting judgment after apportionment of fault determines whether an verdict is excessive, the Delaware Supreme Court held Dec. 2 in remanding an asbestos case so the trial court could determine the appropriateness of a $40 million verdict (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Ford Motor Co. v. Paula Knecht, et al. No. 90,2019, Del. Sup.).