WILMINGTON, Del. — Roughly 2,300 claims alleging that cosmetic talcum powder caused cancer in women should be transferred from state courts across the country to Delaware federal court, where talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection to rid itself of the claims by establishing a trust to pay them, leading talc maker Johnson & Johnson says in an April 18 motion seeking to consolidate the cases (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-mc-00103, D. Del.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on April 17 lifted the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of Imerys Talc America Inc. to allow a couple to drop their claims against the debtor in a state court action so they can pursue claims against nonbankrupt defendants (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Any remaining objections to the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Duro Dyne National Corp. should be overruled, and the plan should be confirmed, the debtor, the asbestos claimants’ committee and the embattled future claimants’ representative (FCR) tell a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court in April 15 proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A longtime advocate for future asbestos disease sufferers in corporate bankruptcies was hit April 10 with another challenge by the U.S. Trustee’s Office to his proposed appointment to the role again, with the acting trustee filing an objection in the Delaware bankruptcy court Chapter 11 case of Imerys Talc America Inc. (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — A workers’ compensation insurer’s discussions with its insureds did not create a duty to prevent an employee’s exposure to asbestos, a W.R. Grace & Co. insurer and its amicus curiae tell the Montana Supreme Court in March 21 briefs (Maryland Casualty Co. v. The Asbestos Claims Court, et al., No. OP 19-0051, Mont. Sup.).
ROME, Ga. — Chapter 11 debtor The Fairbanks Co. and the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants for the case filed supplemental briefs March 26 in support of their candidate for future claimants’ representative (FCR), telling a Georgia federal bankruptcy court that he should be selected over candidates proposed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office because he is more qualified (In re The Fairbanks Company, No. 18-41768, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.).
TRENTON, N.J. — The U.S. Trustee’s Office’s appeal of the appointment of a future claimants’ representative (FCR) for asbestos claimants in Duro Dyne National Corp.’s Chapter 11 case should be rejected on procedural grounds and because it lacks any merit, the debtor, Asbestos Claimants Committee and FCR say in a March 29 opposition brief in New Jersey federal court (Andrew R. Vara v. Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 3:18-cv-15563, D. N.J.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on March 26 ruled that affiliates of Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. can tap into insurance coverage to defend against asbestos claims regardless of Imerys’ bankruptcy stay, on the condition that they win an adversary action filed by the debtor to keep the stay intact (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 1:19-bk-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
HELENA, Mont. — Most negligence, bad faith and wrongful death claims filed by 29 Montana claimants against an insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. survive the insurer’s dismissal bid under the state’s statute of limitations, a federal judge in the state ruled March 22 (Billie J. Schull, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 6:17-cv-76, D. Mont., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48099).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Negligence claims leveled by asbestos plaintiffs in Montana against insurers of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. are not enjoined by W.R. Grace’s bankruptcy injunction because they do not meet the requirements for derivative claims, the plaintiffs argue in a March 6 brief on remand in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (Continental Casualty Co., et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766, D. Del. Bkcy.).
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.).