WILMINGTON, Del. — Asbestos claimants have asked the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to decide the validity of their challenge to the constitutionality of allowing former Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) to discharge claims of future but yet unknown disease sufferers, with their opening arguments due next month, according to a March 18 scheduling order (In re: Energy Future Holdings, et al., No. 19-1430, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on March 15 approved a settlement under which former Chapter 11 debtor Armstrong World Industries Inc. will pay $1 million to current debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. for cleanup cost recovery for a polluted Oregon manufacturing site (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — The successor to the PVC pipe business of former Chapter 11 debtor Johns-Manville Corp. agreed in a Feb. 21 consent order to drop its bid in New York federal bankruptcy court for sanctions against state court asbestos plaintiffs for suing the company in violation of the bankruptcy protections implemented when it bought the business (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on March 13 declined a request by the U.S. trustee to pick one of his candidates for the future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the Chapter 11 case of Maremont Corp. and instead appointed the debtor’s choice for the position (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With an appeal of the recent denial of its bid to dismiss the Chapter 11 case of Bestwall LLC pending, the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants on March 14 said in a federal bankruptcy court filing that it does not oppose giving the debtor more time to file a plan of reorganization (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy court erred in approving an $11 million settlement between Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. and asbestos insurers because the deal fails to protect the contribution claims of nonsettling insurers, a federal judge ruled March 8 in reversing the settlement approval (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., Nos. 3:18-cv-5637 and 3:18-cv-05638, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37840).
WILMINGTON, Del. — New Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. filed an adversary complaint March 7 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking to snuff an attempt by two affiliated companies to tap into insurance coverage for asbestos personal injury claims (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — Montana’s top court on Feb. 19 agreed to consider whether a workers’ compensation insurer can be held liable for failing to warn W.R. Grace Co. employees about the dangers of asbestos. Two insurers seeking to escape similar liability on March 5 asked the court for permission to file amicus curiae briefs, saying that any ruling would likely impact them (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The reorganization plan of new Chapter 11 debtor Maremont Corp. cannot be confirmed because the procedures for distributing asbestos trust funds to claimants open the door to fraud and abuse, the U.S. trustee argues in his March 4 objection to the plan in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
BOSTON — The state Legislature provided an unequivocal six-year statute of repose applicable to asbestos claims, and the Legislature must address any resulting unfairness, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held March 1 in answering a certified question (June Stearns, et al. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., et al., No. SJC-12544, Mass. Sup. Jud.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. on Feb. 21 asked a Washington federal bankruptcy court to postpone the confirmation hearing for its contested plan of reorganization so it can continue to negotiate with insurers on their objections to the plan (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
BOULDER, Colo. — An expert’s handful of hours researching asbestos with little to no information about the plaintiff’s work or exposures renders the testimony unreliable, a federal judge in Colorado held in excluding it and granting a railroad summary judgment on Feb. 21 (Roddy York v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 17-1088, D. Colo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27644).
TRENTON, N.J. — Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp., the asbestos claimants’ committee and the embattled future claimants’ representative (FCR) say in a Feb. 26 memorandum that the debtor’s reorganization plan meets all the requirements for confirmation, despite objections to the plan by insurers, a labor union and the U.S. trustee (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
ROME, Ga. — The asbestos future claimants’ representative (FCR) candidate of Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. filed a supplemental declaration Feb. 19 in Georgia federal bankruptcy court on potential conflicts of interest after the court held a hearing on competing motions to name an FCR for the case (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — A 1997 settlement for a man’s nonmalignant asbestos disease does not preclude his subsequent action seeking to recover for mesothelioma, a divided New York Court of Appeals held Feb. 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Anne M. South, etc. v. Chevron Corp., etc., et al., No. APL-2017-00252, N.Y. App., 2019 N.Y. LEXIS 267).
WILMINGTON, Del. — The U.S. trustee for the new Chapter 11 case of Maremont Corp. asked a Delaware federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 20 to choose a future claimants’ representative (FCR) from a list of four candidates he submitted, three of which are the same candidates proposed by the trustee in a Georgia asbestos bankruptcy case (In re: Maremont Corporation, et al., No. 19-10118, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — No evidence suggests that an all-cash purchase of a restaurant equipment company’s assets constituted a de facto merger of the companies, a New York appeals court held Feb. 19 in reversing a summary judgment ruling in favor of an asbestos plaintiff (Eleni Dritsas, etc., et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 8430 190276/15, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy court erred in finding that Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. are not protected by the automatic stay from environmental cleanup cost state court settlement judgments, the debtors argue Feb. 4 in their opening appeal brief in federal court (Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al. v. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, No. 3:18-cv-507, W.D. N.C.).
NEW YORK — The future claimants’ representative (FCR) in the landmark asbestos bankruptcy case of Johns-Manville Corp. has retired after 29 years of service, and now his longtime colleague should replace him, according to a letter filed in New York federal bankruptcy court Feb. 5 by the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK — The successor to the PVC pipe business of former Chapter 11 debtor Johns-Manville Corp. on Feb. 11 said it has agreed to drop its bid in New York federal bankruptcy court for sanctions against state court asbestos plaintiffs for suing the company in violation of the bankruptcy protections implemented when it bought the business (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).