NEW YORK — Allegations that a boilermaker included asbestos in its products, specified its use in replacement parts and knew of the dangers the material presented but never acted on them support failure-to-warn and punitive damages claims, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 16, matching eight previous opinions he issued in March (John M. Moore v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190054/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Because an action solely involves alleged shipments of asbestos-tainted vermiculite in Montana, the case meets the principal injuries requirement of the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and belongs in state court, regardless of whether the product eventually left the state, a federal judge in Montana said in granting remand on April 6 (Korey L. Aarstad, et al. v. BNSF Railway Co., et al., No. 17-72, D. Mont., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60326).
NEW ORLEANS — No error or new evidence requires reconsidering a judgment cutting a nearly $8 million asbestos verdict to $3,250,661.45, a federal judge in Louisiana said April 13 (James L. Gaddy, et al. v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 19-12926, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63752).
HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on March 25 determined that a workers’ compensation insurer’s duty to warn employees of asbestos exposures does not arise as a result of the insurer’s contractual duty to the insurer but arises independently under the Restatement of Torts (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup., 2020 Mont. LEXIS 877).
NEW YORK — Plaintiffs’ evidence that talc contained asbestos and that its use over more than a decade exceeded background levels suffices for causation in New York, a divided appellate court held April 9 (Francis Nemeth, etc. v. Brenntag North America etc., et al., No. 9765 190138/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. sought help March 27 from a Washington federal bankruptcy court deciding how much the U.S. trustee should be paid, saying the trustee’s demands for payments based on the company’s disbursements in bankruptcy will soon deplete its available cash (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge issued a second amended mediation order March 30 that gives Chapter 11 asbestos debtor Imerys Talc America Inc., one of its insurers and tort claimants’ representatives all the time they need to settle their coverage disputes (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Chapter 11 debtor DBMP LLC took issue March 31 with the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants’ requests to appoint not one, not two but three law firms to represent the committee in the case, saying in an objection to both requests in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court that duplication of work will waste the estate’s resources (In re DBMP LLC, No. 3:20-bk-30080, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
ST. LOUIS — The admission that a boiler company’s products contained asbestos and witness testimony regarding a man’s work with the products and expert testimony regarding his resulting exposure combine to overcome summary judgment, a Missouri appeals court held March 31 in reversing a lower court ruling (Mary Callanan, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., No. ED108140, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 5).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The Delaware federal bankruptcy court should hold off on appointing special litigation and corporate counsel for the asbestos claimants’ committee in the new Chapter 11 case of Owens-Illinois’ spinoff Paddock Enterprises LLC until it decides whether to appoint an examiner to investigate the companies’ prebankruptcy restructuring, the U.S. trustee, who is pushing for the examiner, says in a March 27 limited objection (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The confirmation hearing for Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc.’s plan of reorganization has been pushed back to July due to the worldwide new coronavirus pandemic, according to a notice filed by the debtor March 24 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mediation among Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC, affiliate Georgia-Pacific LLC and asbestos claimants’ representatives to resolve disputes over a plan for the debtor to reorganize was extended March 24 by a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge at the request of all parties (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Health care products conglomerate Johnson & Johnson on March 20 sought to take over the Chapter 11 case of its longtime talc suppliers, saying in two filings in Delaware federal bankruptcy court that the debtors should not be given more time to propose a reorganization plan and the automatic stay should be lifted to allow Johnson & Johnson to assume defense to thousands of talc asbestos personal injury claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ten settlements with insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. that will bring more than $50 million to an escrow fund to pay for the cleanup of two polluted sites in Washington state received approval March 12, according to a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court docket entry (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Asbestos claimants’ “charged rhetoric and misstatements” about the 2017 corporate restructuring of Georgia-Pacific that resulted in the bankruptcy of affiliate Bestwall LLC have no place in appeals of orders enjoining asbestos claims against the debtor, Georgia-Pacific and others, the debtor says in a Feb. 28 response in North Carolina federal court (Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants of Bestwall LLC v. Bestwall LLC, No. 3:20-cv-103, Sander L. Esserman v. Bestwall LLC, No. 3:20-cv-105,W.D. N.C.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Evidence of the suffering mesothelioma victims undergo and the pain a man’s family felt watching the process supports a jury’s $40,625,000 award in an asbestos case against Ford Motor Co., a Delaware judge held March 3 (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Paula Knecht, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., No N14C-08-164 ASB, Del. Super., New Castle Co., 2020 Del. Super. LEXIS 132).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel could not have possibly determined whether published notice of Johns-Manville Corp.’s bankruptcy afforded adequate due process to future asbestos claimants of the company’s insurance broker because a copy of the actual notice was never entered into evidence, a claimant’s law firm says in a March 5 petition for rehearing (In re Johns-Manville Corp., Marsh USA, Inc. v. The Bogdan Law Firm, No. 18-2531, 2nd Cir.).
HELENA, Mont. — Plaintiffs’ claims against a railway that hauled asbestos-tainted vermiculite from Libby, Mont., are not preempted, and the company can be strictly liable for abnormally dangerous activity performed outside its statutory public duty and may not refute causation by assigning blame to W.R. Grace & Co., the Montana Supreme Court held March 11 (BNSF Railway Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court of the State of Montana, et al., Nos. OP 19-0085, Mont. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants and the proposed future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the new Chapter 11 case of Owens-Illinois affiliate Paddock Enterprises LLC joined with the debtor March 11 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court filings in objecting to a request by the U.S. trustee to appoint an examiner, with the committee calling the trustee’s reasoning “absurd” (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — An examiner is not needed to investigate the corporate restructuring of Owens-Illinois and resulting Chapter 11 filing of an affiliate to deal with all asbestos and environmental liabilities because the debtor’s asbestos disease creditors are already looking into the transactions, making another probe a waste of time and money, the debtor argues in a March 9 objection in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).