MEDINA, Ohio - The corporate parent of Chapter 11 debtors Specialty Products Holding Corp. and Bondex International Inc. announced July 28 that it has reached an agreement with asbestos personal injury claimants under which the parents will pay $797.5 million to fund a trust to resolve current and future claims against the debtors.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on July 23 reversed rulings by the bankruptcy judge in the Chapter 11 case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC sealing evidence and filings and excluding the news media from the hearing to estimate Garlock's liability for asbestos personal injury claims, finding that the bankruptcy judge erred in issuing broad protective orders that prevented public access to the hearing (Legal Newsline v. Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, No. 13-464, W.D. N.C.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 22 reinstated a federal bankruptcy court ruling requiring two insurance companies to pay $510 million to asbestos personal injury plaintiffs under decades-old settlements, finding that conditions precedent to payment under the settlement agreements were satisfied (In re: Johns-Manville Corp., [Common Law Settlement Counsel, Statutory and Hawaii Direct Action Settlement Counsel and Asbestos Personal Injury Plaintiffs v. The Travelers Indemnity Company and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, FKA Aetna Casualty and Surety Company], Nos. 12-1094, 12-1150 and 12-1205, 2nd Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on July 18 confirmed a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization for Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) under which personal injury claims, including asbestos claims, will be unimpaired and remain assertable against the reorganized company (In Re: Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc., No. 12-20000, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Six insurance companies, having lost their recent bid to reopen the Chapter 11 case of T H Agriculture & Nutrition LLC (THAN) so they could audit the THAN asbestos trust for evidence of fraud, filed a complaint on July 2 in Delaware state court, alleging that THAN has breached a five-year-old settlement agreement and its plan of reorganization by blocking the insurers' attempts to audit the trust (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - According to a June 24 motion to approve a settlement filed in the U.S. District Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, an insurer and its bankrupt insured responsible for a January 2014 spill of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol into West Virginia's Elk River have agreed to a settlement in which the insurer will buy back an excess policy for $2 million and pay for covered losses unrelated to the spill up to $1 million (In re: Freedom Industries Inc., No. 14-20017, S.D. W.Va. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - A group of foundations involved in community philanthropy for the bankrupt City of Detroit on June 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan supporting their motion to quash subpoenas filed by creditors Syncora Capital Assurance Inc. and Syncora Guarantee Inc. (the Syncora parties) (City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Inc. (MFGI), the customer investment affiliate of MF Global Holdings Inc. (MFGH), on June 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that $25 million in claims filed by former employees of MFGI should be disallowed and expunged (In Re: MF Global Inc., 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The Residential Capital Borrower Claims Trust on June 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that a couple's $32.85 million claim against the bankruptcy estate should be disallowed because it was not timely filed and it demonstrates conduct that was "dilatory and in bad faith" (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - The California Supreme Court on June 11 declined Crane Co.'s petition arguing that a judge could reduce a judgment by amounts allegedly available to the plaintiff through asbestos bankruptcy trusts (Elaine M. Paulus, et al. v. Crane Co., No. S218222, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 12 ruled that funds held in inherited individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are not "retirement funds" within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Code because they represent an opportunity to use money immediately as opposed to a fund of retirement savings (Brandon Clark, et al. v. William Rameker, No. 13-299, Chapter 7, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS - The foreign representative of bankrupt bitcoin exchange operator MtGox Co. Ltd. and creditor CoinLab Inc. on June 9 reached a stipulated agreement under which CoinLab agrees that it will not object to MtGox's Chapter 15 bankruptcy status or its choice of venue (In Re: MtGox Co. Ltd., No. 14-31229, Chapter 15, N.D. Texas Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9 unanimously ruled that any potential error made by a bankruptcy court regarding its own judgment in a "core" proceeding under 28 U.S. Code Section 157(b) was "cured" by a district court's de novo review of the matter because the issue received the same review from the district court that it would have received had the bankruptcy court treated the claims as noncore proceedings (Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson, No. 12-1200, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bank of America NA filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court that was made available on the docket June 5, in which it seeks high court review regarding whether the Bankruptcy Code permits a Chapter 7 debtor to "strip off" a junior mortgage lien in its entirety when the outstanding debt owed to a senior lienholder exceeds the current value of the collateral (Bank of America v. David B. Caulkett, No. 13-1421, Chapter 7, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 ruled that a lower court properly refused to grant a debtor's motion to withdraw a guilty plea concerning bankruptcy fraud because although his court-appointed counsel was "deficient," there was no evidence that the debtor would have pleaded differently if he had had better representation (United States of America v. Bobby D. Curtis, No. 12-30819, Chapter 13, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10331).
LOS ANGELES - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of GGW Brands LLC, which makes adult entertainment videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on June 2 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California contending that the Bankruptcy Court should hold in contempt GGW, one of its affiliated companies and GGW's founder Joseph Francis (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Senate on June 3 passed without amendment, and with "immediate effect," the Michigan Financial Review Commission Act (MFRCA), which will allocate $194.8 million in funds to the bankrupt City of Detroit to deal with its current debt, and would create the Financial Review Commission (FRC), which would have the power to approve the city's financial plan.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A group of underwriters who are creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) on June 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware arguing that OSG should not be permitted to disallow their claims for defense costs in underlying securities litigation related to the bankruptcy (In Re: Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., No. 12-20000, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The adult entertainment company that produces material carrying the name "Penthouse" on June 2 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to a motion by its former financial advisor that seeks to compel the debtor to provide a financial reserve to cover the advisor's claims valued at $3,430,900 (In Re: PMGI Holdings Inc., No. 13-12404, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Bankruptcy pizzeria chain Sbarro LLC on June 2 filed its official notice disclosing to all creditors that its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan was effective as per the decision by the federal bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, who approved the reorganization plan on May 19 (In Re: Sbarro LLC, No. 14-10557, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt FBI Wind Down Inc. (FBI), formerly known as Furniture Brands International Inc., on June 2 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to individual pension claims filed against the bankruptcy estate on grounds they are not permitted under the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: FBI Wind Down Inc. f/k/a Furniture Brands International Inc., No. 13-12329, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 ruled that proceeds that a Chapter 13 debtor received after he settled a wrongful foreclosure action against his mortgage company were property of the bankruptcy estate (George Crouser v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP [In Re: George Crouser], No.13-14304, Chapter 13, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10144).
DETROIT - The Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District (MIDDD), a creditor and party in interest in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case of the City of Detroit, on May 30 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, seeking an order allowing its $26 million claim against the city for the purpose of voting to accept or reject the city's amended plan of adjustment for its debts (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53046, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A group of creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Inner City Broadcasting Corp. (ICBC) on May 30 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to ICBC's brief, which argued that the Bankruptcy Court should not grant the creditors' motion to strike the declaration of one of ICBC's witnesses in the adversary proceeding ICBC has brought against the creditors (Inner City Broadcasting Corporation v. YMF Media LLC, et al. [In Re: Inner City Broadcasting Corporation], No. 11-13967, Adv. No. 12-01796, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York presiding over the Chapter 11 case of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on May 30 issued an order increasing to $43.8 million the amount payable for the insurance costs of MFGH's executives and officers (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).