CLEVELAND — An Ohio jury on May 3 found a railroad 60 percent liable for a former employee’s asbestos-related lung cancer, awarding the man $4,508,488 on his Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claim (Kevin E. Howell v. Consolidated Rail Corp., et al., No. CV-15-846529, Ohio Comm. Pls., Cuyahoga Co.).
CHICAGO — Attorneys representing Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. and counsel for the debtor’s asbestos claimants will not get paid until progress is made in the nearly three-year-old case, an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge ruled May 17 (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware erred in using the interest rate provided for in the Chapter 11 plan of W.R. Grace & Co. in calculating a tax refund owed by the Internal Revenue Service because the agency’s recoupment rights are not “claims” under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the IRS says in its May 2 opening brief on appeal to the district court (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., United States v. W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 17-cv-1588, D. Del.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. have had enough, filing their second motion May 7 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court to dismiss the case, accusing the company and its primary insurer of using the bankruptcy forum to better their own interests to the detriment of asbestos disease sufferers (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court on May 14 agreed to review a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that maritime law permits holding a manufacturer liable for third-party asbestos-containing replacement parts (Air and Liquid Systems Corp, et al. v. Roberta G. DeVries, et al., No. 17-1104, U.S. Sup.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on May 8 gave Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC four more months to remove any lawsuit filed against the company to a district court (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — The Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust has an “unequivocal right” to be reimbursed by the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust for payments made to asbestos claimants, and the Manville Trust’s nonpayment constitutes breach of a 1994 indemnity agreement among asbestos producer Johns-Manville and asbestos product distributors, including Thorpe, the Thorpe Trust says in an April 20 motion for summary judgment in New York federal bankruptcy court (Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 1:17-ap-1186, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. — A California jury on May 2 awarded $6,811,189 in a former freelance construction worker’s asbestos case, finding gun plastic cement manufacturer Amcord Inc. 20 percent liable for a man’s mesothelioma (Kenneth Kramer v. 3M Co., No. RG16799603, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 1 once again affirmed that claims involving workplace warnings and safety measures fall outside the scope of U.S. Navy contracts requiring the use of asbestos and affirmed remand of an asbestos case (Robert J. Templet Sr. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 17-30676, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11214).
NEW YORK — A New York law firm insists on appeal in federal court that Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurance broker can be held independently liable for asbestos personal injury claims, arguing in its April 13 opening brief that barring a claimant’s in personam claims against the broker is a clear violation of the claimant’s due process rights (The Bogdan Law Firm v. Marsh USA, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-01228, S.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey federal bankruptcy court on April 18 issued a final decree closing the 17-year-old Chapter 11 case of G-I Holdings Inc. affiliate ACI Inc., finding that the case has been “fully administered” (In re: G-I Holdings Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135, 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO — The Asbestos Claimants’ Committee in the Chapter 11 Case of Oakfabco Inc. fired back April 11 at bids by Oakfabco insurers and a claims management company to dismiss the committee’s fraud claims against them for allegedly hiding asbestos policies from the debtor, saying in two response briefs that its allegations are sufficient to send the claims to trial (Asbestos Claimants Committee v. American Casualty Company of Reading, PA, et al., No. 18-00002, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Unable to resolve their dispute over a $1.6 million tax refund through mediation, the Internal Revenue Service and reorganized chemical conglomerate W.R. Grace & Co. agreed April 2 on a briefing schedule for the IRS’s appeal in Delaware federal court of a bankruptcy judge’s ruling in favor of W.R. Grace (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., United States v. W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 17-cv-1588, D. Del.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Two more people suffering from asbestos disease joined the fray over whether an insurer can be held liable for asbestos claims arising from the mining operations of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. in Libby, Mont., with the claimants filing an adversary complaint April 17 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking a declaration that the protective injunction in the debtor’s reorganization plan does not apply to their claims against the insurer (Barbara Hunt, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No.18-50402, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on March 30 closed the long-running, landmark Chapter 11 cases of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC and affiliates, finding that there is “just cause” to do so (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 3:17-cv-275, W.D. N.C.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on April 17 set a briefing schedule for the appeal by asbestos claimants of confirmation of the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) and affiliates, with the claimants continuing to press their belief that the plan is unlawful and was proposed in bad faith (Sherry Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 18-381, D. Del.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A motion by an asbestos liability insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. to enforce the protective injunction in the debtor’s reorganization plan to halt claimants in Montana from pursuing asbestos claims against the insurer should be stayed or dismissed because it is procedurally unsound and untimely, considering that the same issue is about to be decided by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a claimant told a Delaware federal bankruptcy court on April 17 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The primary insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. asked a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court April 17 to approve the disclosure statement for its plan of reorganization for Kaiser Gypsum, which failed to file its own plan, instead seeking to lift the bankruptcy stay so asbestos claimants can pursue their claims in the tort system, but only if they agree to have their settlements or judgments paid by the debtor’s insurers (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — A New York jury on April 13 awarded $60 million to the family of a mesothelioma sufferer exposed to asbestos in boilers, sources told Mealey Publications (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 New Jersey jury hearing a case against Johnson & Johnson Inc. and its talc supplier on April 11 awarded a couple $80 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award in the first-ever asbestos verdict against the consumer products company to $117 million, sources told Mealey Publications (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. L00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).