WILMINGTON, Del. — Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. and affiliates need more time to propose a plan of reorganization, and cutting short their exclusive right to file a plan would “certainly undermine the Debtors’ efforts to successfully put forth a consensual chapter 11 plan,” the debtors say in a Sept. 4 motion in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES — A jury on Aug. 30 awarded $25.5 million in punitive damages after previously handing a mesothelioma sufferer $8.5 million in compensatory damages, sources told Mealey Publications (Arthur Putt, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 18STCV06912, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission will not recommend enforcement measures against Honeywell International Inc. for its reporting of asbestos liabilities related to Bendix Friction Materials after the agency wrapped up an investigation it started late last year, the company said in an Aug. 29 SEC filing.
BOISE, Idaho — To reasonably support their conclusion that a man’s household asbestos exposures substantially contributed to his mesothelioma, two experts needed more evidence showing contamination of his father’s work clothes, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Aug. 28 in affirming summary judgment for a railroad employer (William G. Stephens, et al. v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., No. 18-35908, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25986).
NEW YORK — A dispute between the battling Thorpe Insulation and Johns-Manville asbestos trusts over indemnification for the payment of claims is ripe for interlocutory review because a bankruptcy court’s interpretation of trust documents presents a controlling question of law, the Thorpe trust says in an Aug. 21 reply brief in New York federal court (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 19-04039, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 16 affirmed the denial of a request by Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc. to have “full access” to claimants’ information from nine asbestos bankruptcy trusts data in search of evidence of fraud, finding that the limits placed on the companies’ access to the information were proper (In re: AC&S, Inc., et al., No. 18-1951, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24668).
TACOMA, Wash. — Clear Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals precedent supports a Washington federal judge’s reversal of approvals for two settlements between Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. and several asbestos liability insurers, nonsettling insurers argue in an Aug. 9 brief in the appellate court (Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, et al, No. 19-35269, 9th Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A lengthy dispute over the scope of insurers’ rights to audit an asbestos trust for evidence of fraud has reached a settlement, according to a letter filed Aug. 12 in Delaware Chancery Court (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).
NEW YORK — A provision in a 1970s insurance policy for asbestos liability can only be read to allow an insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. to reduce the policy limits to zero by offsetting a previous settlement amount, the insurer argues in an Aug. 7 reply in support of its summary judgment bid in a New York federal bankruptcy court adversary action (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An expert’s testimony regarding testing he performed that found asbestos in talc and in a victim’s lung tissue is unreliable and must be excluded, a federal judge in the District of Columbia said Aug. 5 (Brian Jackson, et al. v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., No. 15-1066, D. D.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131298).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nonparty insurers create federal jurisdiction in five asbestos personal injury cases against their dissolved insured simply because the company’s receiver changed the case name, a federal judge held July 26 in dismissing the action (Roxanne Falls, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., Timothy W. Howe, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., James Michael Hill v. Advance Auto Parts Inc., et al., Denver D. Taylor, et al. v Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No.19-1948, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124742).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on July 29 denied asbestos claimants’ request to dismiss or transfer the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC, saying the case is not “objectively futile” despite the claimants’ argument that it was filed as a sham to save the company’s parent billions of dollars (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy., 2019 Bankr. LEXIS 2373).
NEW YORK — An order governing New York asbestos litigation provided specific remedies for challenging procedural errors in plaintiffs’ pursuit of punitive damage claims against two companies, but a pretrial attempt at dismissing them is not among the options, a justice said in reinstating a plaintiff’s claims in an Aug. 2 opinion (Richard Carlstrand, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190194/17, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC and certain affiliates, including Georgia-Pacific LLC, are now shielded from asbestos personal injury claims until the debtor reorganizes after a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on July 29 issued an injunction enjoining the claims (Bestwall LLC v. Those Parties Listed on Appendix A to Complaint, et al., No. 17-03105, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky state jury on Aug. 2 returned a verdict in favor of asbestos-talc defendants Johnson & Johnson and Colgate Palmolive Inc. (Cynthia Hayes, et al v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., et al., No. 16CI03503, Ky. Dist., Jefferson Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
NEW YORK — A federal bankruptcy judge in New York on July 18 refused to remand a legal malpractice case and declined a motion seeking his abstention from the case, which is an adversary proceeding in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Tronox Inc., on grounds that the matter involves allegations that could have arisen only as a result of the bankruptcy proceeding (Stanley Waleski v. Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads [In re: Tronox Inc.], No. 09-10156, Adv. No. 19-1087, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2019 Bankr. LEXIS 2217).
AKRON, Ohio — A woman’s claims that an aerospace company controlled the space it leased to a related company, can be liable for its portion of the manufacturing process and knew that regulatory limits on asbestos were insufficient are enough to overcome summary judgment, an Ohio appeals court held June 28 in reversing a trial court (Lynn Blakely, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 28733, Ohio App., 9th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 2740).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Those holding claims other than asbestos talc claims against Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. have until Oct. 15 to file proofs of claim after a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on July 25 approved a request by the company to establish a bar date for non-talc claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The trustees of the Swan Transportation Co. Asbestos and Silica Settlement Trust will resign to settle breach of fiduciary duty claims leveled by three trust claimants, with a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge issuing an order July 16 dismissing the case per a joint stipulation so the settlement can be memorialized (In re: Swan Transportation Co., No. 01-11690 [Richard Smith, et al. v. W.D. Hilton, Jr., et al., No. 17-50053], D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on July 10 turned down a request by the asbestos personal injury trust established in the Thorpe Insulation Co. Chapter 11 case to reconsider her denial of the trust’s bid for summary judgment on the issue of whether the Johns-Manville Corp. asbestos trust must indemnify the Thorpe trust for settlements made to claimants of both companies (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 19-04039, S.D. N.Y.).