WILMINGTON, Del. — Facing mounting asbestos injury litigation while maintaining that its talc product is safe, Johnson & Johnson supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection Feb. 13 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, seeking to continue its talc mining and distribution business and establish a trust to pay asbestos claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — A $14 million asbestos damages award stands after the South Carolina Court of Appeals on Feb. 12 found that a contractor could not be considered a statutory employee because the maintenance work he performed differed sufficiently from the polyester fiber manufacturer’s core job, and that neither jury misconduct or prejudice contributed to the verdict (Angela Keene, et al. v. CNA Holdings LLC, No. 2016-000227, S.C. App., 2019 S.C. App. LEXIS 20).
NEW YORK — Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimant representatives filed two summary judgment motions Feb. 8 in New York federal bankruptcy court in an adversary action seeking to resolve the two remaining issues in a dispute with insurers over coverage for asbestos liability (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
TACOMA, Wash. — The plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. meets all the requirements in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code for confirmation, the company says in a Feb. 6 preconfirmation hearing statement in Washington federal bankruptcy court, while the U.S. trustee and certain insurers counter in their statements filed the same day that the plan was not filed in good faith and cannot be confirmed (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
ROME, Ga. — The U.S. trustee for the Chapter 11 case of The Fairbanks Co. on Jan. 31 submitted the names of three candidates for an asbestos future claimants’ representative (FCR), a process originally opposed by the debtor and asbestos committee but now backed by both, according to the trustee’s notice in Georgia federal bankruptcy court (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A bankruptcy court clearly misapplied federal bankruptcy law in appointing a future claimants’ representative (FCR) for asbestos claimants in Duro Dyne National Corp.’s Chapter 11 case, so the appointment should be vacated, the U.S. trustee says in a Feb. 8 opening brief for his appeal of the appointment in New Jersey federal court (Andrew R. Vara v. Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 3:18-cv-15563, D. N.J.).
ANDERSON, S.C. — A South Carolina jury found for two defendants, but hit a third with a $5,125,000 verdict, including punitive damages, on Jan. 25, sources told Mealey Publications (Rita Joyce Glenn, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 2015CP041607, S.C. Comm. Pls., 10th Jud. Cir., Anderson Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A labor union on Feb. 6 objected to the confirmation of the reorganization plan for Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp., telling a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court that the plan fails to address the union’s $7.6 million proof of claim for the company’s alleged infringement and counterfeiting of the union’s trademark on doors it manufactured (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — A trial court acted within its discretion in considering an otherwise late motion to dismiss an asbestos action without prejudice after the plaintiff refiled the action in South Carolina, a Louisiana appeals court held Feb. 6 (James C. Sizemore v. Reilly-Benton Co. Inc., et al., No. 2018-CA-0826, La. App., 4th Cir., 2019 La. App. LEXIS 188).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Five asbestos claimants of new Chapter 11 debtor Maremont Corp. and their law firms will serve on the Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants for the case, according to a Feb. 4 notice from the U.S. trustee on the committee’s appointment (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Supreme Court on Jan. 31 granted a petition for writ of prohibition, staying a 24-plaintiff asbestos-talc trial while it considers jurisdiction over out-of-state plaintiffs, according to its docket (Imerys Talc America, et al. v. The Honorable Rex Burlison, et al., No. SC97647, Mo. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Jan. 30 denied a request by asbestos claimants to have the debtors in the Chapter 11 case of Energy Future Holdings Corp. pay their attorney fees based on the claimants’ “substantial contribution” to the case, finding that the debtors saw no significant benefits from the claimants’ work (Sherry Fenicle, et al. v. EFH Plan Administrator Board, et al., Nos. 18-877 and 18-878, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14390).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal jury hit asbestos-brake maker Honeywell International Inc. with $10 million in punitive damages on Jan. 29 on top of $8,530,979 it awarded in compensatory damages. The jury found for defendant Ford Motor Co. (Michael Lyn Thomas, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 17-522, E.D. Ark.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Asbestos claimants’ challenge to the constitutionality of discharging claims of future but yet unknown disease sufferers are statutorily moot because it affects the validity of former Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp.’s entire reorganization plan, a Delaware federal judge ruled Jan. 24 in dismissing the claimants’ appeal of the plan’s approval (Sherry Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 18-381, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11194).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey jury on Jan. 24 decided against imposing punitive damages on Union Carbide Corp. just days after awarding a widow $2,380,000 on her claim that her husband contracted and died of mesothelioma after exposure to Calidria asbestos, sources told Mealey Publications (Thomasina Fowler v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. L-4820-11, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
ANDERSON, S.C. — A jury may conclude that all of a company’s products contained asbestos, a South Carolina judge said Jan. 24 as part of her instructions at trial. The ruling was one of several imposing sanctions on multiple defendants for alleged discovery violations in an asbestos case (Rita Joyce Glenn, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 2015CP041607, S.C. Comm. Pls,, 10th Jud. Cir., Anderson Co.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — With the preapproval of 100 percent of asbestos claimants, a nonoperating subsidiary of commercial vehicle and industrial products maker Meritor Inc. filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization on Jan. 22 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, looking to resolve its asbestos liabilities through a Section 524(g) trust (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO — With the final settlement with insurers in place in the Chapter 11 case of boiler company Oakfabco Inc., an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 16 approved the disclosure statement for the debtor’s plan of liquidation and set a March date for the plan confirmation hearing (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With two key issues yet to be decided in the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC, including whether to dismiss the case, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 7 gave the company more time to file a plan of reorganization (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Because insurers’ asbestos policies with former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. are “legally relevant” to state court tort claims filed against the insurers under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the insurers are protected from the claims by a bankruptcy injunction, they assert in a Dec. 21 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.).