NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Nov. 27 that its reinsurer has failed to honor an asbestos-related reinsurance billing without explanation or excuse (Travelers Casualty & Surety Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No. 13-cv-01775, D. Conn.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - A claim by a woman who alleges that she had a therapeutic abortion because the antidepressant Paxil caused a heart defect in her unborn son missed a two-year statute of limitations and failed to show that the manufacturer fraudulently concealed the drug's birth defect risk, a Pennsylvania appeals court panel ruled Nov. 17 (Joanne Thomas, et al. v. Smith Kline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 2461 EDA 2012, Pa. Super.).
DETROIT - Syncora Guarantee Inc., which insures municipal bonds, on Nov. 26 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan arguing that the bankrupt City of Detroit lacks standing to expedite the Bankruptcy Court's consideration of Syncora's state law action against nondebtor defendant banks related to contracts referred to as swap agreements that were negotiated and executed seven years before the city's bankruptcy (Syncora Guarantee Inc. v. UBS AG, et al. $(In Re: City of Detroit$), No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 26 entered a 60-day stay in a Clean Water Act (CWA) suit against the owner and operator of a floating oil and gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico for the government to conduct a criminal investigation into the company's operation of the ATP Innovator (United States of America v. ATP Oil & Gas Corporation, et al., No. 13-0262, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168061).
NEW YORK - The bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Hostess Brands Inc. on Nov. 26 approved $8,745,298.09 in fees and expenses for law firms and financial advisers, with the largest amount paid to the debtor's law firm (In Re: Old HB Inc. f/k/a/ Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 26 granted certiorari in a case in which a debtor couple contend that high court review is needed to settle a split in the circuit courts regarding whether Chapter 7 debtors are permitted to exempt money in an inherited individual retirement account (IRA) from their bankruptcy estate (Brandon Clark, et al. v. William Rameker, No. 13-299, Chapter 7, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The ad hoc noteholders group in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Greenfield Energy Services Inc. (GFES) on Nov. 25 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware supporting a $30 million post-petition financing loan, also referred to as debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing (In Re: Greenfield Energy Services Inc., No. 13-12783, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Nov. 25 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to Savient's motion seeking approval to use cash collateral (In re: Savient Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 13-12680, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Nov. 21 granted final approval of a settlement in a class suit accusing a hotel of failing to properly redact its customers' debit and credit card numbers from its receipts in violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act's (FACTA) truncation requirement (Britt M. Fouks, et al. v. Red Wing Hotel Corporation d/b/a St. James Hotel, Veranda, Clara's Gift Ship, Jimmy's Pub, Port Restaurant, and Shoe Box Cafe, No. 12-2160, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165588).
DENVER - A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 25 ruled that a lis pendens filed in Colorado state court did not constitute a preferential transfer in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (Ute Mesa Lot 1 LLC v. First Citizens Bank & Trust Company $(In Re: Ute Mesa Lot 1 LLC$), No. 12-1134, Chapter 11, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23622).
CLEVELAND - Although denying dismissal, an Ohio federal judge on Nov. 22 nonetheless agreed to transfer patent litigation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Canplas Industries Ltd. v. InterVac Design Corporation, No. 13-1565, N.D. Ohio).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 affirmed a ruling that a coffee chain's policy of allowing shift supervisors to participate in tip pooling does not violate New York Labor Law Section 196-d (Jeana Barenboim, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 10-4912, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23370).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. on Nov. 24 moved for approval of post-petition financing, also called debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, of $9.84 million, arguing that the administration of its bankruptcy estate required immediate funding (In Re: Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., No. 13-13087, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 dismissed an insurer's declaratory judgment action filed against Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. to determine insurance coverage rights and obligations because the same issues were recently decided in Delaware federal court (Aviva PLC v. The Flintkote Company, No. 13-0711, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165907).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge in New York presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 22 approved a stipulation between The Kroger Co. and Old HB Inc. - the reorganized version of bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. - under which Kroger will pay $1.95 million to settle an adversary proceeding related to $2,835,028.14 in unpaid outstanding invoices (Old HB Inc. v. The Kroger Co. $(In Re: Old HB Inc.$), No. 12-22052, Adv. No. 13-08209, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling that allowed a Chapter 7 trustee to sell a debtor couple's residence in order to satisfy outstanding liens on the property (Garon Reeves v. Joseph N. Callaway, No. 12-2127, Chapter 7, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23358).
NEW YORK - The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and two other unions representing workers in the airline industry on Nov. 21 filed a statement in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York supporting the settlement agreement reached between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. that would resolve antitrust objections to the proposed merger of the two airlines (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) on Nov. 21 filed a statement of issues on appeal in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, challenging the Bankruptcy Court's interpretation of the Bankruptcy Code relating to the city's eligibility to file Chapter 9 bankruptcy (In Re: City of San Bernardino, Calif., No. 12-28006, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - Two casinos that are creditors in the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of the City of Detroit on Nov. 21 filed a response in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan arguing that the city's proposal for $350 million in post-petition financing should be modified (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
LAFAYETTE, La. - Cabot Corp. on Nov. 19 entered into an agreement in Louisiana federal court with the federal government and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality in which the company would pay a civil penalty of $975,000 and spend $84 million on state-of-the-art technology to upgrade its air pollution controls to resolve allegations that it was violating the New Source Review (NSR) provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (United States of America v. Cabot Corporation, No. 13-cv-03095, W.D. La.).
LOS ANGELES - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of GGW Brands LLC, the adult entertainment company that produces videos carrying the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Nov. 20 ordered GGW's attorney to return $18,788 of a $20,000 retainer (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Revstone Industries LLC on Nov. 20 moved for approval of the appointment of a Chapter 11 trustee or, in the alternative, to convert the case to Chapter 7 bankruptcy given "overwhelming acrimony" and allegations of misappropriation of funds in the proceeding (In Re: Revstone Industries LLC, No. 12-13262, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Making the State of Missouri wait for a $5 million settlement payment for cleanup of a polluted lead smelter site until Chapter 11 debtor ASARCO LLC finds out whether the settlement amount can be set off from any judgment ASARCO receives in a separate action would be "illogical and inequitable," a Texas federal bankruptcy judge held Nov. 19 in granting Missouri summary judgment and ordering ASARCO to allocate the funds to the state (In re: ASARCO LLC, et al., No. 05-21207, S.D. Texas Bkcy.; 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 4901).
DETROIT - The Detroit Branch of the NAACP, individually and on behalf of affiliated groups, filed a notice of appeal on Nov. 18 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan indicating its appeal of an opinion in which the Bankruptcy Court denied the groups relief from the automatic stay pursuant to lawsuits they brought challenging the constitutionality of the city's bankruptcy filing (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).