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Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy

  • August 10, 2018

    Debtor’s Nonsettling Insurers Appeal Settlements Providing Asbestos Trust Funding

    TACOMA, Wash. — Several insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. on Aug. 7 appealed federal bankruptcy court rulings approving settlements under which other insurers will pay $13.7 million to a liquidating trust as part of the debtors’ reorganization plan (In re:  Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash.).

  • August 9, 2018

    John Crane, Accused Law Firm Reach Settlement Of Fraud, RICO Claims

    PHILADELPHIA — With an asbestos plaintiffs’ law firm and John Crane Inc. (JCI) agreeing in principle to a settlement of the company’s fraud allegations against the firm, a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 31 stayed the case to give the parties more time to finalize the deal (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 2:17-cv-02210, E.D. Pa.).

  • August 6, 2018

    Fraser’s Boiler Wins Approval Of Disclosure Statement; Confirmation Hearing Set

    TACOMA, Wash. — Recent Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. asked a Washington federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 3 to confirm its plan of reorganization, which channels asbestos claims to a liquidating trust, the day after the judge approved the plan’s disclosure statement (In re:  Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash).

  • August 1, 2018

    Judge: Estate Can Pursue Claims Against Johns-Manville Insurance Broker

    NEW YORK — The representative for future asbestos claimants in Johns-Manville Corp.’s landmark Chapter 11 case did not adequately represent a holder of nonderivative claims against the debtor’s insurance broker, so an asbestos claimant’s estate can proceed with its state court action against the broker, a New York federal judge held July 27 in reversing a bankruptcy court ruling (The Bogdan Law Firm v. Marsh USA, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-01228, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126962).

  • July 26, 2018

    Slate Wiped Clean, All Attorney Pay Halted In Boiler Maker’s Bankruptcy

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal bankruptcy judge on July 23 canceled all scheduled hearings on the withdrawn liquidation plan for Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. and halted all automatic payments from the debtor to attorneys in the case, who in three years have managed only to “bleed the estate dry with unnecessary and frivolous litigation” (In re:  Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).

  • July 25, 2018

    Asbestos Claimants, Former Debtor Battle Over Discharge Of Future Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal court should disregard arguments by former Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) and determine whether the discharge of unmanifested asbestos claims in EFH’s bankruptcy case meets due process requirements, eight such claimants say in a July 20 reply brief in their appeal of EFH’s reorganization plan confirmation (Sherry Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 18-381, D. Del.).

  • July 25, 2018

    Early Bid To Sink Boiler Company’s Chapter 11 Case Rebuffed By Bankruptcy Judge

    TACOMA, Wash. — A Washington federal bankruptcy judge on July 12 denied a motion by insurers of recent Chapter 11 debtor Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. to dismiss the Chapter 11 case, rejecting the insurers’ suggestion that the company’s plan to reorganize is “objectively futile” (In re:  Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash.).

  • July 23, 2018

    New Asbestos Debtor Wins Approval Of $11 Million Settlement With Insurers

    TACOMA, Wash. — An $11.66 million settlement by insurers that is one of the linchpins to the new Chapter 11 case of longtime regional boiler company Fraser’s Boiler Service Inc. was approved July 18 by a Washington federal bankruptcy judge, who also approved an injunction protecting the settling insurers from any future claims of nonsettling insurers (In re:  Fraser's Boiler Service, Inc., No. 18-41245, W.D. Wash, 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 2122).

  • July 18, 2018

    Rapid-American Insurers Press For Trust Information From Claims Facilities

    NEW YORK — Insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. continue to do battle over the amount of claimant information they are entitled to under court-approved discovery subpoenas to asbestos trust claims-processing facilities, with the insurers telling a New York federal bankruptcy court on July 10 that they should be allowed to issue subpoenas like those used in Garlock Sealing Technologies’ landmark bankruptcy case (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

  • July 18, 2018

    John Crane’s RICO Suit Against Shein Firm Paused For Settlement Talks

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 2 gave more time to an asbestos plaintiffs’ law firm to respond to fraud and racketeering allegations leveled by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. “in order to permit the parties to explore a settlement and discontinuance of this action,” according to the parties’ joint request for procedural deadline extensions (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 2:17-cv-02210, E.D. Pa.).

  • July 13, 2018

    Jury Awards $4.69B After Finding That Asbestos Tainted Johnson & Johnson Talc

    ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis jury awarded 22 women $4.69 billion in damages from Johnson & Johnson after concluding that the company’s baby powder contained asbestos and caused their ovarian cancer.  The July 12 award consists of $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in other damages, sources told Mealey Publications (Gail Ingham, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 1522-CC-10417, Mo. Cir., St. Louis Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • July 10, 2018

    Maryland Court Affirms Witness Exclusion, Resulting $8 Million Asbestos Verdict

    BALTIMORE — A judge properly excluded untimely testimony that an asbestos defendant appears to have deliberately concealed, and the resulting $8 million verdict is supported by sufficient evidence, a Maryland appeals court held July 6 (Lloyd E. Mitchell Inc. v. Patrick Rossello, No. 1191 September Term, 2016, Md. Sp. App., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 666).

  • July 10, 2018

    New Jersey Court Reverses $7.5M Asbestos Verdict Against Cement Supplier

    TRENTON, N.J. — Insufficient evidence links an asbestos cement company to the boiler manufacturer on whose products a man worked, a New Jersey appeals court held July 9 in reversing a $7.5 million verdict (William P. Condon, et al. v. Advance Thermal Hydronics Inc., et al., No. A-3642-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 Md. App. LEXIS 666).

  • July 3, 2018

    Bestwall, Official Committee In Discussions Over Law Firms’ Hiring For Estimation

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina bankruptcy judge on June 29 gave Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC more time to seek reconsideration of an order allowing the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants to hire four law firms as special litigation counsel for medical science matters related to a hearing to estimate the debtor’s asbestos liability (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

  • July 3, 2018

    Admission Of Settled Asbestos Defendants’ Evidence Requires Retrial, Court Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — A trial judge erred in allowing an asbestos defendant to read into evidence deposition and corporate representative testimony from settled defendants, a New Jersey court said June 29 in reversing and remanding for a new trial on apportionment (Donna Rowe, et al. v. Bell & Gossett Co., et al., No. A-4530-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.).

  • July 2, 2018

    Judge Keeps Intact $117M Asbestos-Talc Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson

    TRENTON, N.J. — The $117 million verdict against cosmetic talcum powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Inc. will stand after the New Jersey judge presiding over the case denied post-trial motions on June 29, according to the court’s docket (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. MID-L-00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).

  • July 2, 2018

    Widow Seeks To Re-enter Suit Against Johns-Manville Insurance Broker

    NEW YORK — A second appeal in a suit seeking to hold Johns-Manville Corp.’s insurance broker independently liable for asbestos personal injury claims now hinges on who is actually prosecuting the case — an asbestos claimant’s estate or the estate’s law firm, according to court ordered supplemental briefs filed June 27 in New York federal court (The Bogdan Law Firm v. Marsh USA, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-01228, S.D. N.Y.).

  • June 28, 2018

    Delaware High Court: Manufacturers, Employers Both Liable For Take-Home Asbestos

    WILMINGTON, Del. — In reversing its own precedent, the Delaware Supreme Court on June 27 said both manufacturers and employers can be liable for failing to warn about the dangers of take-home asbestos exposure (Elizabeth Ramsey, et al. v. Georgia Southern University Advanced Development Center, et al., No. 305, 2017, Del. Sup.).

  • June 21, 2018

    Insurer, Claims Company Deny Fraud Claims, Seek To Remove Bankruptcy Reference

    CHICAGO — Fraud allegations leveled by the Oakfabco Inc. Asbestos Claimants’ Committee against insurers and a claims management company involving missing asbestos policies fail because the committee cannot even prove that the policies exist, the insurers and company say May 30 in an Illinois federal bankruptcy adversary case (Asbestos Claimants Committee v. American Casualty Company of Reading, PA, et al., No. 18-00002, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).

  • June 21, 2018

    Bankruptcy Judge Closes Geo. V. Hamilton’s Chapter 11 Case

    PITTSBURGH — The relatively brief and uncomplicated Chapter 11 case of insulation distributor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. came to an end June 13 when a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge issued a final decree closing the case (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).