TRENTON, N.J. — A U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. is continuing his fight against the usually routine appointment of a future claimants’ representative (FCR), on Oct. 31 appealing a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge’s order naming a longtime representative for future asbestos claimants as FCR (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
SEATTLE — Washington state recognizes the apparent manufacturer doctrine, and when applied from a reasonable consumer’s perspective, the doctrine creates genuine issues about whether Pfizer Inc. held itself out as the manufacturer of the now-bankrupt Quigley Co. Inc.’s asbestos-containing refractory products, the state’s divided high court held Nov. 1 (Margaret Rublee, et al. v. Carrier Corp., et al., No. 94732-5, Wash. Sup., 2018 Wash. LEXIS 718).
NEW YORK — Midland Insurance Co., which is in liquidation, cannot prorate its asbestos coverage, a New York trial justice ruled Aug. 10, finding that a trust can pursue the full limits of excess policies issued by the insolvent insurer (In the matter of the liquidation of Midland Insurance Co., No. 041294/1986, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4668).
CHICAGO — Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. has reached a settlement with the last remaining insurers challenging the company’s reorganization efforts that will provide $2.65 million more in funding for an asbestos trust than a previous settlement amount, according to a notice of successful mediation the debtor filed Oct. 3 in Illinois federal bankruptcy court (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — Only 389 asbestos claimants out of the more than 4,000 claims that the Thorpe Trust seeks indemnification for from the Manville Trust have not already received settlements from both trusts, the Manville Trust reported Oct. 22 to a New York federal bankruptcy judge in the two trusts’ dispute over the indemnification claims (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 1:17-ap-1186, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals must reverse rulings placing limits on how Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc. can use asbestos claimants’ information from nine bankruptcy trusts and remand with instructions to grant them “full access” to the data to use as they wish, the companies argue in an Oct. 5 brief on appeal (In re: AC&S, Inc., et al., No. 18-1951, 3rd Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Insurers and the T H Agriculture & Nutrition LLC (THAN) asbestos trust have agreed on a proposed order that will govern their discovery disputes in a suit over the scope of the insurers’ rights to audit the trust for evidence of fraud, according to an Oct. 19 letter to the court from the trust (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge on Oct. 4 ordered three asbestos claimants’ law firms to file mandatory bankruptcy statements with the court showing who the firms represent, after nonsettling insurers moved for such an order or to have the firms’ votes on the debtor’s plan of reorganization declared invalid (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Honeywell International Inc.’s reporting of its asbestos liabilities related to Bendix Friction Materials, the company announced in an Oct. 19 regulatory filing.
NEW YORK — The parties in an adversary proceeding filed in the Chapter 11 case of Rapid-American Corp. over insurance coverage for asbestos personal injury claims have until January to iron out their discovery disputes, according to a New York federal bankruptcy judge’s Sept. 27 scheduling order (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Chapter 11 case of newly formed Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall LLC should be dismissed because it meets the standard set by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals for a subjective bad faith bankruptcy filing, the asbestos claimants’ committee tells a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court in an Oct. 17 brief in support of its motion to dismiss (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Oct. 15 approved in a minute order the appointment of a longtime representative for future asbestos claimants in corporate bankruptcies as the future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp., over protests from the U.S. trustee (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Montana federal judge agreed with a magistrate judge on Oct. 15 and remanded to state court asbestos liability class claims against a railway that had been stayed by the bankruptcy case of W.R. Grace & Co. pursuant to the local controversy exception to federal jurisdiction (Korey L. Aarstad, et al. v. BNSF Railway Company, et al., No. 4:17-cv-72, D. Mont., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176843).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts jury hearing a rare trial involving both asbestos and tobacco defendants on Oct. 12 faulted one of the three defendants and hit that tobacco company with $13.1 million in compensatory damages and $30 million in punitive damages for a man’s lung cancer (Louis Summerlin, et al. v. Philip Morris, USA, et al., No. 1581CV05255, Mass. Super., Suffolk Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey jury returned a defense verdict Oct. 11 for Johnson & Johnson in the latest asbestos-talc case after nearly a month of trial (Rosalind & Frederick Henry v. Brenntag North America, et al., No. L-1748-17, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.) VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
TRENTON, N.J. — The disclosure statement for recent Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp.’s prenegotiated plan of reorganization cannot be approved because it fails to mention that the plan does nothing to guard against fraud, the U.S. trustee argues in an Oct. 4 objection filed in New Jersey federal bankruptcy court (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
RICHMOND, Va. — An employer who permitted asbestos to be carried home on employees’ clothing placed household members within its “zone of danger” and can be liable for failing to prevent the exposure and resulting injury, the Virginia Supreme Court said Oct. 11 in a 4-3 response to a certified question from a federal court (Wesley Quisenberry, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., No. 171494, Va. Sup.).
DALLAS — Health insurers and an asbestos litigation firm on Oct. 5 settled a Texas federal court case alleging that the firm withheld bankruptcy trust recoveries to which the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Medicare insurance plans were contractually entitled for costs associated with treating the firm’s plaintiffs (Humana Inc., et al. v. Shrader & Associates LLP, No. 16-354, S.D. Texas).
NEW YORK — A New York justice reduced to $29 million what was originally a $60 million asbestos award, saying on Sept. 21 that while the new amount remains high, it is supported by the detailed account of the decedent’s life and suffering (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Murphy-Clagett v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190311/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. — A longtime representative for future asbestos claimants in corporate bankruptcies may not be the best candidate for future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the new Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. because of possible “disqualifying conflicts of interest,” the U.S. trustee says in a Sept. 26 objection to the proposed appointment (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).