WILMINGTON, Del. — An adversary action filed by Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) seeking indemnification for asbestos claims should be dismissed because the talc supply and stock purchase agreements the claims are based on do not require J&J to indemnify the talc company, J&J says in a Sept. 21 motion in Delaware federal bankruptcy court.
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 13 confirmed a plan of liquidation for Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. that establishes a liquidating trust to evaluate and pay asbestos personal injury claims.
RICHMOND, Va. — Confirmation of the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. should be reversed because the plan does not meet the requirements of asbestos trust bankruptcy law and was filed in bad faith, the debtors’ primary insurer tells the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 opening brief in its appeal of the plan confirmation.
NEW YORK — Reorganized Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. and its asbestos insurers on Aug. 31 stipulated to the dismissal of two consolidated coverage suits in New York federal court, saying their recent settlements in Fairbanks’ bankruptcy case resolved all claims in the actions.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 9 gave Chapter 11 debtors Aldrich Pump LLC and Murray Boiler LLC more time to file a plan of reorganization that is supported by asbestos claimants.
NEW YORK — A late-filed supplemental authority in an appeal by a woman asserting asbestos personal injury claims against a Johns-Manville Corp. affiliate “has no bearing” on the case and should be disregarded, the affiliate says in a Sept. 17 response letter to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 remanded for a second time a dispute over whether asbestos disease sufferers can pursue state court negligence claims against insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. based on the insurers’ knowledge of the hazards to workers at a Montana asbestos mine.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — A couple adequately demonstrated secondhand exposure to asbestos in gaskets after a judge properly admitted an expert’s belated opinion on how the fibers remain in the air long after being disturbed and the judge then properly increased a jury’s verdict from $300,000 to $1,870,000, a South Carolina appeals court said Sept. 1.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Courts are “hopelessly split” on whether preemption occurs only after federal agency notice-and-comment rule-making, and absent clarity, manufacturers and consumers face myriad warnings and labels, two Johnson & Johnson entities tell the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 30 petition urging review of a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling allowing consumer protection claims involving the lack of warning about the dangers of ovarian cancer from consumer talc use.
ST. LOUIS — Missouri state court plaintiffs currently locked in a state court trial with two Johnson & Johnson entities voluntarily dismissed a separate action pending in federal court after Johnson & Johnson removed the case, in which the plaintiffs sought to enjoin it from avoiding asbestos liabilities by shifting them into a shell entity it would then bankrupt.
ALBANY, N.Y. — Three asbestos plaintiffs failed in their attempt at reviving their lawsuits against dissolved Wisconsin asbestos distributor and supplier Special Electric Co. Inc. after the New York Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 denied leave to appeal.
LOS ANGELES — The California Supreme Court on Aug. 11 denied a petition for review in a docket entry, leaving in place a ruling affirming a trial court’s decision to disregard a spreadsheet of mesothelioma verdicts submitted in a motion for a new trial and finding a jury’s 60% liability finding and $25 million in noneconomic damages proper.
TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson announced in an Aug. 20 Securities & Exchange Commission filing and related press release that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky is leaving his position with the company. Asbestos-talc plaintiffs have targeted Gorsky with deposition requests since a 2018 television appearance where he rebutted claims that the company knew of the presence of asbestos in its talcum powder products.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Aug. 27 allowed asbestos claimants’ representatives to intervene in an adversary action filed by Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) but denied the representatives’ request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) seeking to prevent J&J from avoiding its indemnity obligations to the debtor through a corporate restructuring.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California court entered judgment on Aug. 27 after a jury awarded $100,000 during the punitive damages phase and $26.5 million in compensatory damages against two Johnson & Johnson entities that exposed a former teacher to asbestos in talc products, sources told Mealey Publications.
NEW YORK — Seeking reversal of an asbestos billing judgment in an excess insurer’s favor that was based on a ruling that an exhaustion requirement was ambiguous, a reinsurer says in its Aug. 19 appellant brief before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the insurer has successfully argued in separate proceedings that the same language is unambiguous; the reinsurer also says the insurer should be judicially estopped from arguing that the language is ambiguous.
ST. LOUIS — Missouri state court plaintiffs filed an emergency motion on Aug. 25 on the eve of an asbestos-talc trial seeking to enjoin Johnson & Johnson from potentially shifting its asbestos liabilities into a shell entity it would then bankrupt. In response, Johnson & Johnson removed the case and on Aug. 26 asked the court to dismiss the action, saying jurisdiction over diverse parties cannot exist based on “speculative allegations.”
NEW ORLEANS — An insurer on Aug. 16 moved for a federal court in Louisiana to stay all further proceedings and prosecution against it in an asbestos liability lawsuit, contending that it is a part of an insolvent insurer that was recently ordered into liquidation in a Pennsylvania court.
PITTSBURGH — Chapter 11 debtor ON Marine Services Company LLC and an asbestos claimants committee will participate in court-directed mediation with insurers to resolve disputes over the amounts the insurers should pay in settlements with the debtor to fund an asbestos trust, with a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge approving the mediation and naming a mediator in an Aug. 10 order.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtors Aldrich Pump LLC and Murray Boiler LLC on Aug. 13 asked a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court for more time to file a plan of reorganization, saying they continue to move their joint case forward by negotiating with the representative for future asbestos claimants and prosecuting an adversary case to enjoin asbestos claims while the case proceeds.