NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a district court's ruling that a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) did not have jurisdiction to direct the administration of the bankruptcy estate as it related to securing payment for commodities customers (Sapere Wealth Management v. MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 12-4254, Chapter 11, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24267).
DETROIT - The union representing the employees of the bankrupt City of Detroit on Dec. 3 filed a brief objecting to the city's motion seeking permission to designate certain claims against the bankruptcy estate as being subject to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A workers' compensation commission properly admitted the testimony of a veterinarian on the issue of animal studies in an asbestos-related esophageal cancer case, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held Dec. 3 (Paulette Smith Wise, executor of the estate of Harvey Smith v. Alcoa Inc., No. COA13-29, N.C. App.; 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1235).
CLEVELAND - Sufficient evidence supports a jury's $2.6 million asbestos verdict, and a judge properly included a decedent's employers on the verdict sheet, an Ohio appeals court held Nov. 27 (Jeanine M. Fisher, executor of the estate of Joseph Bohazi v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. 99662, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on Nov. 27 expunged a claim valued at more than $646.87 million against the bankruptcy estate, finding that it was precluded by the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, 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.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury's assignment of 100 percent of fault to a deceased smoker despite finding that she had been addicted to cigarettes and that her addiction was a legal cause of her death was not inconsistent given how the case was presented, a Florida federal judge said Nov. 22 in refusing to order a new trial (Robert Denton, as personal representative of the Estate of Linda Denton v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA, Inc., No. 3:09-cv-10036-WGY-JBT, M.D. Fla., Jacksonville Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166383).
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.).
JACKSON, Miss. - An additional insured endorsement only covered liability that arose from "ongoing operations," the Mississippi Court of Appeals held Nov. 19, finding that homeowners' damage did not arise until well after the additional insured had completed its operations and, thus, the homeowners' claims did not trigger coverage under the endorsement (Arthur H. Noble, individually and Noble Real Estate Inc. v. Wellington Associates Inc., et al., No. 2012-CA-01269, Miss. App.; 2013 Miss. App. LEXIS 783).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois dismissed a shareholder suit against a company and certain of its directors and officers on Nov. 18, holding that the directors' and officers' actions did not amount to a breach of their fiduciary duty (James Becker, et al. v. Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-03128, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163878).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Eastman Kodak Co. on Nov. 19 approved a stipulation under which a $1.3 million claim against the bankruptcy estate will be reduced to $40,000 and classified as a general unsecured claim (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 18 dismissed a class action suit accusing Bank of America Corp. of violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme to collect kickbacks and referral fees from private mortgage insurers after finding that the plaintiffs' claims were barred by the statute's one-year limitations period (Thomas J. Riddle, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 12-1740, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163526).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 19 reinstated a pro se plaintiff's claims against a title services company brought under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), after finding that a federal judge in Delaware erred when dismissing the suit sua sponte (La Mar Gunn v. First American Financial Corp., et al., No. 13-2884, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23261).
LOS ANGELES - The Chapter 11 trustee in the bankruptcy case of GGW Brands LLC, the company that produces adult videos that carry the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Nov. 18 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California for approval of a settlement with a group that asserted claims against the bankruptcy estate based on intellectual property it owns related to "Girls Gone Wild" films. The settlement would get bring all "Girls Gone Wild" intellectual property under the purview of the GGW trustee (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Nov. 13 denied Adams Bank & Trust's motions to alter an order dismissing three consolidated suits against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. related to a $17 million real estate loan (FirsTier Bank, Kimball, Nebraska v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-3231, Adams Bank & Trust v. FirsTier Bank, Louisville, Colorado, et al., No. 12-0240, Adams Bank & Trust v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. [FirsTier Bank], et al., No. 11-3404, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161667).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The reorganized version of bankrupt Rotech Healthcare Inc. on Nov. 12 filed a brief objecting to the $851,105.20 fee application of the law firm that represented the Official Committee of Equity Security Interest Holders, arguing that the firm did not provide value to the bankruptcy estate (Baker & McKenzie v. Rotech Healthcare Inc. [In Re: Rotech Healthcare Inc.], No. 13-10741, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - The bankrupt City of Detroit on Nov. 8 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan contending that its attempt to establish bar dates for claims filed against the bankruptcy estate was not an attempt to deny city employees and retirees the right to vote on the pension and health care claims they may possess in the bankruptcy (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 8 dismissed a borrower's suit alleging Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) violations against OneWest Bank FSB, which acquired his mortgage after the failure of IndyMac Bank F.S.B., finding that actual damages have not been alleged nor has a causal connection between any damages and a RESPA violation been shown (Richard Renner v. IndyMac Bank F.S.B., No. 13-2539, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160098).
NEW YORK - The reorganized version of bankrupt Arcapita Bank B.S.C. on Nov. 7 filed an omnibus brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that $23,036,633 in claims against the bankruptcy estate asserted by three creditors should be disallowed on grounds that they are equity interest claims (In Re: Arcapita Bank B.S.C., No. 12-11076, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. - A California federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 5 granted a bankruptcy trustee's motion for summary judgment, finding that partial proceeds from a settlement reached between a tenant and her landlord in relation to mold exposure were part of the tenant's bankruptcy estate and should be turned over (In re: Soheila Labib, et al. v. Bossio & Associates, Adv. No. 1:12-ap-01225, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.; 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 4661).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A unanimous District III Michigan Court of Appeals panel affirmed an award of $483,195 for a couple who discovered that a condominium they purchased was contaminated with trichloroethylene and that the seller and real estate agent committed fraud by not disclosing the contamination before the sale (Gary L. Bowman, et uxor v. Merly Greene, et al., No. 308282, Mich. App., Dist. III; 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1781).
TACOMA, Wash. - The negligence and punitive damages claims of the administratrix of the estate of a deceased stevedore survived a defense motion for summary judgment on Nov. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington because, the presiding judge concluded, issues of material fact remain as to how the plaintiff's decedent ended up in the hold of a barge owned by the defendant and whether the defendant failed to warn of the risks of carbon monoxide exposure on the barge (Sandra L. Summers v. Salmon Bay Barge Line Inc., No. 13-5859, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157914).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. on Nov. 5 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of a stipulation that would reduce the amount owed by Kroger Co. to the Hostess estate from $2,835,028.14 to $1.95 million (In Re: Old HB Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11. S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Supreme Court on Oct. 31 reversed dismissal of a wrongful death case filed against numerous medical defendants, allowing the case to continue with a new plaintiff representing the deceased man's estate (Ronnie Taylor v. MCSA LLC, et al., No. CV-13-12, Ark. Sup.; 2013 Ark. LEXIS 513).
MIAMI - A federal jury in Florida on Oct. 29 found for Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Group LLC and against the estate of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 2001 (Ronnie L. Jacobson, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-23781, S.D. Fla.).