NEW YORK — The asbestos personal injury trust established in the Thorpe Insulation Co. Chapter 11 case on May 6 sought interlocutory review in New York federal court of a federal bankruptcy court’s denial of its bid for summary judgment on the question 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.).
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on April 16 asked for full briefing on the state’s asbestos court’s conclusion that federal law did not preempt asbestos claims against BNSF Railway Co. and that the defendant could be strictly liable (BNSF Railway Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court of the State of Montana, et al., Nos. OP 19-0085, DA 19-0085, Mont. Sup., 2019 Mont. LEXIS 151).
TRENTON, N.J. — A Georgia federal bankruptcy court’s recent decision appointing a future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the asbestos Chapter 11 case of The Fairbanks Co. has no effect on the U.S. trustee’s appeal of the FCR appointment for Duro Dyne National Corp. because the Duro Dyne court followed the procedures outlined in Fairbanks’ case, Duro Dyne says in an April 29 letter to a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court in response to the trustee’s letter on supplemental authority (Andrew R. Vara v. Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 3:18-cv-15563, D. N.J.).
LOS ANGELES — It is more equitable to allow a woman dying of mesothelioma to have her day in court than to permit defendant Johnson & Johnson to transfer the case to the home court of a bankrupt talc supplier with thousands of other cases “for an efficient adjudication,” a California federal judge held May 3 in remanding the lawsuit to state court (Carolyn Weirick, et al. v. Brenntag North America, Inc., et al., No. 2:19-cv-03036, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75252).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Johnson & Johnson’s “emergency” request to transfer 2,400 state court talc and asbestos actions to federal court in Delaware due to the bankruptcy filing of talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. should be rebuffed because Johnson & Johnson created its own emergency by suddenly removing hundreds of suits before the transfer dispute was decided, attorneys representing tort claimants say in May 1 letters to the court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del.).
LOS ANGELES — A California jury on April 19 awarded $4,397,716 to a widow and two adult children for a man’s pericardial mesothelioma contracted after exposure to asbestos used in bowling balls (Barbara Vanni, et al. v. AMF Bowling Centers Inc., et al., No. BC544355, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court clearly erred in finding that a hospital’s appeal of a bankruptcy court’s denial of certification for a class of property owners seeking damages for asbestos use by former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. was interlocutory and therefore had to be dismissed, the hospital argues in an April 11 opening brief in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re Grace & Co., et al., No. 18-1960, 3rd Cir.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. on April 2 appealed a federal district court’s reversal of two bankruptcy court approvals of settlements with asbestos insurers totaling $13.7 million to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, et al, No. 19-35269, 9th Cir.).
ROME, Ga. — The U.S. Trustee’s Office won one and lost one April 17 when a Georgia federal bankruptcy judge agreed with its idea to appoint a future claimants’ representative (FCR) in an asbestos bankruptcy case from a pool of candidates, but then selected the debtor’s nominee for the job, whom the trustee had opposed (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy., 2019 Bankr. LEXIS 1220).
HELENA, Mont. — W.R. Grace & Co.’s workers’ compensation insurer took affirmative steps involving facility safety measures and was not, as it contends, an innocent bystander with no duty to prevent employee asbestos exposures, a plaintiff tells the Montana Supreme Court in an April 18 brief (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Roughly 2,300 claims alleging that cosmetic talcum powder caused cancer in women should be transferred from state courts across the country to Delaware federal court, where talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection to rid itself of the claims by establishing a trust to pay them, leading talc maker Johnson & Johnson says in an April 18 motion seeking to consolidate the cases (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on April 17 lifted the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of Imerys Talc America Inc. to allow a couple to drop their claims against the debtor in a state court action so they can pursue claims against nonbankrupt defendants (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Any remaining objections to the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp. should be overruled, and the plan should be confirmed, the debtor, the asbestos claimants’ committee and the embattled future claimants’ representative (FCR) tell a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court in April 15 proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A longtime advocate for future asbestos disease sufferers in corporate bankruptcies was hit April 10 with another challenge by the U.S. Trustee’s Office to his proposed appointment to the role again, with the acting trustee filing an objection in the Delaware bankruptcy court Chapter 11 case of Imerys Talc America Inc. (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — A workers’ compensation insurer’s discussions with its insureds did not create a duty to prevent an employee’s exposure to asbestos, a W.R. Grace & Co. insurer and its amicus curiae tell the Montana Supreme Court in March 21 briefs (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
ROME, Ga. — Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. and the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants for the case filed supplemental briefs March 26 in support of their candidate for future claimants’ representative (FCR), telling a Georgia federal bankruptcy court that he should be selected over candidates proposed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office because he is more qualified (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
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.).