NEW YORK — A New York jury hearing a case of alleged exposure to asbestos during the construction of the World Trade Center returned a verdict for the two remaining defendants on March 6, sources told Mealey Publications (Sharon Epstein, et al. v. Atlas Turner Inc., et al., No. 190065/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An expert for insurers should not be allowed to testify at the confirmation hearing for Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. debtors’ plan of reorganization because the insurers don’t have standing to assert objections to the plan and the expert’s opinions are irrelevant, the debtors argue in a Feb. 27 motion in limine in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Testing showed that nine out of 52 talc-containing cosmetics contained asbestos, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in a March 9 press release summarizing a yearlong investigation.
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon jury on Feb. 7 awarded nearly $6.22 million in an asbestos case against Kaiser Gypsum Co. (Donald E. Miller, et al. v. Kaiser Gypsum Company Inc., No. 19CV08509, Ore. Cir., Multnomah Co.).
PHILADELPHIA — Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talcum powder products contain asbestos, and airborne exposure can lead to ovarian cancer, according to an abstract of a study of 10 mesothelioma sufferers performed by well-known plaintiffs’ experts.
WILMINGTON, Del. — The U.S. trustee filed six objections March 4-6 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court in the new Chapter 11 case of Owens-Illinois’ spinoff Paddock Enterprises LLC, opposing debtor proposals ranging from the appointment of a future claimants’ representative (FCR) to the hiring of bankruptcy counsel for the debtor (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — In two orders issued March 4, a federal judge in Louisiana granted individual defendants and a trustee’s motions to dismiss an insurer’s lawsuit seeking both a declaration that it has no further duty to pay asbestos-related claims arising out of its insured’s acts or omissions and reimbursement from the trust for any fees and costs incurred in connection with the underlying claims (Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Daniel Joseph Boullion, et al., No. 19-9845, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37261).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Mediation to possibly settle disputes among Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc., one of its insurers and tort claimants’ representatives was extended by a day Feb. 26 under an amended mediation order filed by a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
BALTIMORE — A widow cannot pursue state court asbestos claims against a reorganized company for the death of her husband from mesothelioma because, though an unknown creditor at the time of the company’s bankruptcy case, she received due process through the company’s adequate publication notices, a Maryland federal bankruptcy judge held March 2 (In re RailWorks Corporation, et al., No. 01-64463, L.K. Comstock & Company, Inc. v. Irene Reibie, et al., Adv. No. 19-00199, D. Md. Bkcy., 2020 Bankr. LEXIS 551).
MIAMI — A Florida jury on Feb. 27 awarded $9 million to woman for mesothelioma she contracted after exposure to asbestos through lifelong use of consumer talc, sources told Mealey Publications (Blanca Moure-Cabrera v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 19-000727-CA, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Democrats’ overnight 20-hour filibuster ended Feb. 26 with the withdrawal of a proposed law that would have required that asbestos plaintiffs provide sworn statements indicating that they made an effort to investigate and applied to all available asbestos bankruptcy trusts.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 18 extended a temporary restraining order (TRO) halting the prosecution of all asbestos personal injury claims against new Chapter 11 debtor DBMP LLC and its affiliates, including the former CertainTeed Corp., pending a decision on preliminary injunctive relief (DBMP LLC v. Those Parties Listed on Appendix A to Complaint, et al., No. 20-03004, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 14 took the advice of the bankruptcy administrator, rather than new Chapter 11 debtor DBMP LLC, and appointed the administrator’s nominees for members of the official committee to represent asbestos claimants for the duration of the case (In re DBMP LLC, No. 3:20-bk-30080, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — An examiner should be appointed to investigate the corporate restructuring that led to an affiliate of the world’s largest glass bottle manufacturer filing for Chapter 11 protection to deal with all asbestos liabilities from the parent’s production of thermal insulation products, the U.S. trustee says in a Feb. 24 motion in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re Paddock Enterprises, LLC, No. 20-10028, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. is just a ruse to protect hundreds of nondebtor affiliates from asbestos claims while allowing most current claims to be decided in a court system that’s rampant with fraud and abuse by plaintiffs’ attorneys, the debtors’ primary asbestos insurer says in a Feb. 24 objection to the plan (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS — Saying it was “stripping away confusion,” the en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 24 said asbestos cases claiming that shipbuilders negligently implemented safety procedures are removable under 2011 amendments to the federal officer removal statute (James A. Latiolais v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 18-30652, 5th Cir.).
SEATTLE — Sufficient evidence supports a jury’s liability finding against two automotive parts defendants, but said evidentiary rulings and the size of the decedent’s $30 million asbestos award require a new trial on damages, a divided Washington state appeals court said Feb. 18 (Gerri S. Coogan, et al. v. Borg-Warner Morse Tec Inc., et al., No. 51253-0-II, Wash. App., 2020 Wash. App. LEXIS 379).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals handed Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurance broker a win Feb. 19 in a long-running dispute over whether asbestos claimants can hold the broker liable for their injuries in state court. They can’t, the Second Circuit said, reversing a district court’s finding that their due process rights were violated in Johns-Manville’s bankruptcy case (In re Johns-Manville Corp., Marsh USA, Inc. v. The Bogdan Law Firm, No. 18-2531, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 5019).
NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge properly concluded that a subcontractor failed in its contractual duties to indemnify an energy company from a man’s asbestos suit, that the resulting $550,000 settlement was reasonable and that the oil company was entitled to fees for litigating the asbestos case and the indemnification action, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Feb. 18 (Chevron Oronite Co., et al. v. Jacobs Field Services North America Inc., et al., No. 19-30088, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 4956).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Fair Share Act does not upset the state’s traditional per capita apportionment of fault in strict liability cases, but does permit the inclusion of settled asbestos bankruptcy entities on the verdict sheet, a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Feb. 19 (William Roverano, et al. v. John Crane Inc., et al., No. 27 EAP 2018, Pa. Sup., 2020 Pa. LEXIS 1035).