TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson will discontinue talc-based baby powder worldwide in 2023 and transition to cornstarch-based powder, the company announced in an Aug. 11 press release.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 8 lifted $100-per-day discovery sanctions for contempt she had imposed against hundreds of asbestos personal injury claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC for not providing complete information to the debtor in a discovery questionnaire, citing “substantial compliance” with the questionnaire requirements since the sanctions began.
HOUSTON — A Texas chief bankruptcy judge and famed mediation attorney Kenneth Feinberg will oversee negotiations among Hess Corp., its bankrupt affiliate HONX Inc. and representatives for asbestos disease claimants on a consensual resolution to the Chapter 11 case with the establishment of an asbestos trust, according to a stipulation approved July 18 by a Texas federal bankruptcy judge.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A man sufficiently established mesothelioma causation and that asbestos in a defendant’s dryer felts was a substantial factor in the disease, and the trial court did not err in increasing the survival damages award or by declining to reallocate settlements or excluding bankruptcy trust forms, a South Carolina appeals court said Aug. 3.
BALTIMORE — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 rejected the nearly two dozen challenges to a more than $3 million verdict based on discovery violations and unpaid asbestos trust referral fees in a dispute involving 15 law firm entities, upending only the award of post-judgment interest so that on remand the court could rely on federal law rather than Maryland law in calculating the award.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal judge on Aug. 5 vacated a bankruptcy court’s dismissal of asbestos debtor The Nash Engineering Co.’s Chapter 7 case after finding no bad faith on the part of the debtor or the Chapter 7 trustee in their quest to marshal insurance assets and distribute the proceeds to creditors.
WILMINGTON, Del. — During a July 20 hearing, the judge overseeing the Imerys Talc America Inc. bankruptcy proceedings heard arguments on whether the case’s automatic stay encompasses a class action alleging that Johnson & Johnson withheld and destroyed evidence of asbestos contamination in its talc. A judge in the fraud case on July 12 stayed any response to the complaint pending the bankruptcy court’s decision.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 said it will hold off on considering a motion by Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. to dismiss an appeal by their primary asbestos insurer of the confirmation of the debtors’ plan of reorganization “pending review of the appeal on the merits.”
WILMINGTON, Del. — Mediation with asbestos insurers on a global resolution to the Chapter 11 cases of talc mining company Cyprus Mines Corp. and affiliate talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. will continue through at least Sept. 30, according to a stipulation by the parties approved July 13 by a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The U.S. bankruptcy administrator for the Western District of North Carolina asked the bankruptcy court on July 7 to order the debtors, their Ingersoll-Rand and Trane affiliates, and asbestos claimants in the consolidated Chapter 11 case of Aldrich Pump LLC and Murray Boiler LLC to participate in mandatory mediation to reach “a comprehensive resolution of the Debtors’ liability to present and future asbestos claimants.”
NEW YORK — A New York jury on July 15 found against Kaiser Gypsum Inc. and awarded the family of a Jordanian immigrant $15 million for the man’s exposure to asbestos and fatal mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications.
NEW YORK — A New York intermediate appeals court reversed a $120 million asbestos-talc verdict against two Johnson & Johnson entities on July 19, saying that even accepting evidence about the lifetime asbestos exposure caused by talc use, plaintiffs didn’t establish the level required for causation.
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania jury on July 14 awarded $3.82 million to the widow of a man who died of mesothelioma after occupational exposure to asbestos in industrial talc.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A federal judge in Montana on July 7 gave W.R. Grace & Co. insurer Zurich Insurance Co. until later in the month to file a reply brief in support of its motion to dismiss claims that it improperly uses retroactive reinsurance to delay asbestos liability claims in an effort to profit off the “float” and gave it until August to respond to a motion for summary judgment in which plaintiffs contend the insurer’s liability is reasonably clear and requires advance payment.
TRENTON, N.J. — An appeal by the lead plaintiff in a securities class action against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its officers of a ruling by a federal bankruptcy judge that the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of J&J spinoff LTL Management LLC applies to the securities case should be stayed pending a decision by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the reach of a protective injunction in the bankruptcy case, the debtor says in a July 11 reply brief in New Jersey federal court.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut federal bankruptcy judge erred on both grounds for finding that causes exists to dismiss The Nash Engineering Co.’s asbestos bankruptcy case, the Chapter 7 trustee and two insurers say in a June 17 joint appellant brief in their federal court appeals of the dismissal decision.
HOUSTON — A retired Texas federal bankruptcy judge was selected June 9 as the future claimants’ representative (FCR) for claimants of Hess Corp. subsidiary and Chapter 11 debtor HONX Inc. who develop an asbestos disease after the bankruptcy case ends.
RICHMOND, Va. — A bankruptcy court had not only “arising in” but also “related to” jurisdiction to issue an injunction protecting Georgia-Pacific and spinoff Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC from asbestos claims, and asbestos claimants fail in their assertion that Georgia-Pacific’s corporate restructuring eliminated jurisdiction, the two companies tell the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 1 response brief in the claimants’ appeal of the injunction.
NEWARK, N.J. — An asbestos manufacturer or supplier may not discharge its duty by warning only an employer, and a trial court properly instructed the jury on medical causation, a divided New Jersey Supreme Court said June 30 in reinstating a $2,380,000 verdict in favor of an asbestos plaintiff.
PHILADELPHIA — Over the objections of insurers, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 30 upheld the appointment of a representative for future asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of talc producer Imerys Talc America Inc., saying the bankruptcy court applied “in substance” the fiduciary standard for selecting such representatives that the panel adopted in its opinion.