TRENTON, N.J. — The U.S. Trustee’s Office’s appeal of the appointment of a future claimants’ representative (FCR) for asbestos claimants in Duro Dyne National Corp.’s Chapter 11 case should be rejected on procedural grounds and because it lacks any merit, the debtor, Asbestos Claimants Committee and FCR say in a March 29 opposition brief in New Jersey federal court (Andrew R. Vara v. Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 3:18-cv-15563, D. N.J.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on March 26 ruled that affiliates of Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. can tap into insurance coverage to defend against asbestos claims regardless of Imerys’ bankruptcy stay, on the condition that they win an adversary action filed by the debtor to keep the stay intact (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — Most negligence, bad faith and wrongful death claims filed by 29 Montana claimants against an insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. survive the insurer’s dismissal bid under the state’s statute of limitations, a federal judge in the state ruled March 22 (Billie J. Schull, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 6:17-cv-76, D. Mont., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48099).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Negligence claims leveled by asbestos plaintiffs in Montana against insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. are not enjoined by W.R. Grace’s bankruptcy injunction because they do not meet the requirements for derivative claims, the plaintiffs argue in a March 6 brief on remand in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Asbestos claimants have asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to decide the validity of their challenge to the constitutionality of allowing former Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) to discharge claims of future but yet unknown disease sufferers, with their opening arguments due next month, according to a March 18 scheduling order (In re: Energy Future Holdings, et al., No. 19-1430, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on March 15 approved a settlement under which former Chapter 11 debtor Armstrong World Industries Inc. will pay $1 million to current debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. for cleanup cost recovery for a polluted Oregon manufacturing site (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — The successor to the PVC pipe business of former Chapter 11 debtor Johns-Manville Corp. agreed in a Feb. 21 consent order to drop its bid in New York federal bankruptcy court for sanctions against state court asbestos plaintiffs for suing the company in violation of the bankruptcy protections implemented when it bought the business (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on March 13 declined a request by the U.S. trustee to pick one of his candidates for the future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the Chapter 11 case of Maremont Corp. and instead appointed the debtor’s choice for the position (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With an appeal of the recent denial of its bid to dismiss the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC pending, the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants on March 14 said in a federal bankruptcy court filing that it does not oppose giving the debtor more time to file a plan of reorganization (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy court erred in approving an $11 million settlement between Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. and asbestos insurers because the deal fails to protect the contribution claims of nonsettling insurers, a federal judge ruled March 8 in reversing the settlement approval (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., Nos. 3:18-cv-5637 and 3:18-cv-05638, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37840).
WILMINGTON, Del. — New Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. filed an adversary complaint March 7 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking to snuff an attempt by two affiliated companies to tap into insurance coverage for asbestos personal injury claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s top court on Feb. 19 agreed to consider whether a workers’ compensation insurer can be held liable for failing to warn W.R. Grace Co. employees about the dangers of asbestos. Two insurers seeking to escape similar liability on March 5 asked the court for permission to file amicus curiae briefs, saying that any ruling would likely impact them (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The reorganization plan of new Chapter 11 debtor Maremont Corp. cannot be confirmed because the procedures for distributing asbestos trust funds to claimants open the door to fraud and abuse, the U.S. trustee argues in his March 4 objection to the plan in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
BOSTON — The state Legislature provided an unequivocal six-year statute of repose applicable to asbestos claims, and the Legislature must address any resulting unfairness, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held March 1 in answering a certified question (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. SJC-12544, Mass. Sup. Jud.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. on Feb. 21 asked a Washington federal bankruptcy court to postpone the confirmation hearing for its contested plan of reorganization so it can continue to negotiate with insurers on their objections to the plan (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
BOULDER, Colo. — An expert’s handful of hours researching asbestos with little to no information about the plaintiff’s work or exposures renders the testimony unreliable, a federal judge in Colorado held in excluding it and granting a railroad summary judgment on Feb. 21 (Roddy York v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 17-1088, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27644).
TRENTON, N.J. — Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp., the asbestos claimants’ committee and the embattled future claimants’ representative (FCR) say in a Feb. 26 memorandum that the debtor’s reorganization plan meets all the requirements for confirmation, despite objections to the plan by insurers, a labor union and the U.S. trustee (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
ROME, Ga. — The asbestos future claimants’ representative (FCR) candidate of Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. filed a supplemental declaration Feb. 19 in Georgia federal bankruptcy court on potential conflicts of interest after the court held a hearing on competing motions to name an FCR for the case (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — A 1997 settlement for a man’s nonmalignant asbestos disease does not preclude his subsequent action seeking to recover for mesothelioma, a divided New York Court of Appeals held Feb. 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Anne M. South, etc. v. Chevron Corp., etc., et al., No. APL-2017-00252, N.Y. App., 2019 N.Y. LEXIS 267).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The U.S. trustee for the new Chapter 11 case of Maremont Corp. asked a Delaware federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 20 to choose a future claimants’ representative (FCR) from a list of four candidates he submitted, three of which are the same candidates proposed by the trustee in a Georgia asbestos bankruptcy case (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).