CHICAGO — An Illinois jury on Oct. 10 awarded $6,022,814.06 to the family of a pipe fitter who died of mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Sharon Daniels, et al. v John Crane Inc., et al., No. 2016-L-011308, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A bankruptcy court erred in approving settlements between Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. and several asbestos insurers and in barring equitable contribution and breach of contract claims by nonsettling insurers against the insurers, the nonsettling insurers told a Washington federal court Oct. 23 (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., Nos. 3:18-cv-5637 and 3:18-cv-05638, W.D. Wash.).
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Once again, a South Carolina jury hearing an asbestos-talc case informed the judge that it could not reach a verdict against Johnson & Johnson, culminating on Nov. 15 in a second mistrial in the case in just six months (Bertila Boyd-Bostic v. Imerys Talc America, et al., No. 17-CP-16-0400, S.C. Cir., Darlington Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 8 denied requests by Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. to employ as professionals two experts to help estimate the debtor’s future asbestos liability, but said the company is free to hire the experts without court approval and seek reimbursement for their fees (In re: Fraser’s Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — With new Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp. already on the path to reorganization, a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Oct. 17 denied a request by asbestos insurers to lift the automatic bankruptcy stay so a New York state court coverage case can proceed (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A Tennessee jury awarded a widow $2,071,216.21 in her case alleging that her deceased husband was exposed to asbestos in industrial pipes and fittings. The jury’s Sept. 19 verdict held the lone remaining defendant 13 percent liable, sources told Mealey Publications (James Davis, et al. v. Ameron International Corp., et al., No. 15734, Tenn. Cir., Maury Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana jury on Oct. 23 returned a $5,474,934.20 asbestos verdict against shipyard Main Iron Works for a man’s fatal mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Donald Foret v. Taylor-Seidenbach Inc., et al., No. 2015-9079, La. Dist., Orleans Parish).
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).