CHICAGO — Defunct boiler manufacturer Oakfabco Inc., which is in its second round of bankruptcy, filed a plan of reorganization and the plan’s disclosure statement March 31 in Illinois federal bankruptcy court, saying it plans to move forward with its proposal to liquidate its insurance assets and establish a multimillion dollar asbestos trust whether its settlements with several insurers are approved or not (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO — The Asbestos Claimants’ Committee in the Chapter 11 case of Oakfabco Inc. asked a federal district court April 18 to take over a bankruptcy court dispute over the amount of money available to the debtor under two lost insurance policies (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — Because a federal court’s ruling enforcing a permanent anti‐suit injunction issued as part of a $5.5 billion settlement in the Chapter 11 case of Tronox Inc. is not a final order, it cannot be appealed by 4,300 individuals who say they were injured from the company’s operation of a wood‐treatment plant in Pennsylvania, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 20 (Avoca plaintiffs, et al. v. Kerr‐McGee Corp., et al., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6949).
PITTSBURGH — There is neither sufficient cause nor subject matter jurisdiction to reopen the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) at the request of the company’s asbestos trust to determine whether thousands of claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, the claimants told a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court April 14 (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on March 24 gave embattled Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. just two more months to file a plan of reorganization, with the debtor facing another call by an insurer to dismiss the case (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A naval engineer’s general testimony about the types of ships and occupation in question are too speculative to create genuine issues of material fact regarding asbestos exposure, a federal judge in Delaware held March 30 in adopting a magistrate judge’s recommendations (Marguerite MacQueen v. Warren Pumps LLC, et al., No. 13-831, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48476).
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota became the latest state to enact reforms designed to address perceived problems with transparency in asbestos bankruptcy trust filings when the governor signed a trust claims bill March 13.
CHICAGO — Illinois federal court is the wrong jurisdiction for John Crane Inc.’s fraud and racketeering claims against two law firms and their founders, two federal judges held separately March 23 in dismissing the company’s lawsuits, but without prejudice to refile the actions in the proper courts (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 16-5913, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42758, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41840).
LOS ANGELES — A jury awarded $3.6 million in punitive damages without the necessary evidence that Crown Cork & Seal Co. Inc. could satisfy such a judgment, but the remainder of the verdict stands as the company mounted “very limited and highly generalized” testimony supporting the contention that it was insulated from liability by a sophisticated intermediary, a California appeals court held Feb. 15 (Donna Saller, et al. v. Crown Cork & Seal Company Inc., et al., No. B260277, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1062).
SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs’ premises liability allegations in an action against aircraft company are sufficiently detailed to permit the claims to go forward, but strict liability and negligence claims lack supporting evidence regarding the products in question or are barred by law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 23 in partially reversing dismissal of a case (Titus May, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., et al., No. 15-56219, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3314).
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A shop teacher was not negligently exposed to asbestos when he ground asbestos-containing brakes on Hennessy Industries Inc. grinding machines, a Madison County, Ill., jury decided Feb. 28 (Urban v. Borg-Warner Morse TEC Inc., No. 13-L-437, Ill. Cir., Madison Co.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California jury on Feb. 24 awarded $10,026,201 to a man who developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos while cutting and working with pipe. The jury found that CertainTeed Corp. knew of the risks but misrepresented the safety of its product and that its negligence contributed to the man’s disease (Michael B. Burch and Cindy Burch v. CertainTeed Corporation, et al., No. RG16819332, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Florida court ignored the “featherweight” causation standard applied in Jones Act cases while reversing a $10.3 million asbestos verdict against a cruise line, plaintiffs told the U.S. Supreme Court March 3 (Giovanna Settimi Caraffa, et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 16-1074, U.S. Sup.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. F070761, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah sued four asbestos trusts March 7 in state court seeking to force the trusts to cooperate with an investigation into whether the trusts are engaged in mismanagement and abuse of the asbestos trust system (State of Utah v. Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust, et al., No. 170901496, Utah 3rd Dist., Salt Lake Co.).
NEW YORK — A bankruptcy court did not have the jurisdiction to determine that a premises liability claim against a subsidiary of Johns-Manville Corp. by a woman who has mesothelioma arose long before the subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection, the woman argues in a Feb. 23 brief in her New York federal court appeal (Lynda Berry v. Graphic Packaging International, Inc., No. 16-5817, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin’s two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190219/2016, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 900, In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Bertle Stromholm, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190177/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. on March 7 asked a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court for more time to file a plan of reorganization, two weeks after several insurance companies told the court the case should be dismissed because it was filed in bad faith (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH — Trustees for the asbestos trust established by the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) said March 17 in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court that they want to reopen the case to find out whether more than $9 billion in claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, which has assets of less than $4 billion (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An insurer cannot pursue arbitration against Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC and affiliates for a coverage dispute with a third-party manufacturer but can file a late proof of claim against the debtors without prejudice to its arbitration rights, according to a consent order filed March 16 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).