Jury Awards $24M Against 2 Health Insurers In Hepatitis C Outbreak

LAS VEGAS - A Nevada state court jury on April 4 ordered two health insurers to pay $24 million in compensatory damages to three plaintiffs who claim that the defendants' actions contributed to them or a spouse becoming infected with hepatitis C during colonoscopies (Helen Meyer v. Health Plan of...

Umbrella Insurance Policy Is 'Inherently Ambiguous,' Indiana Panel Finds, Reverses

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on April 8 found that, due to an umbrella insurance policy's ambiguity, there is coverage for a manufacturer insured as to products-completed operations claims, reversing and remanding a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an excess insurer...

W.R. Grace Asbestos Trust To Receive $900,000 From Deal With Insurer

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware on April 17 approved a settlement agreement between Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. and one of its insurers that will provide more than $900,000 to the debtor's asbestos personal injury trust in one lump-sum payment rather than in installments...

Bankruptcy Judge Confirms Thorpe Insulation Co.'s Reorganization Plan On Remand

LOS ANGELES - Reorganized Thorpe Insulation Co.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, revised to reflect settlements reached on remand with all of the remaining insurance companies objecting to the plan, received confirmation again May 8 from a California federal bankruptcy judge, who said that once...

Pittsburgh Corning's Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan Confirmed

PITTSBURGH - Thirteen years after seeking bankruptcy protection from hundreds of thousands of asbestos personal injury claims, building products manufacturer Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) on May 16 received confirmation from a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge for a plan of reorganization that establishes...

Retiring Bankruptcy Judge Transfers Pittsburgh Corning Chapter 11 Case

PITTSBURGH - Seven days after issuing final rulings confirming the plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC), Pennsylvania federal Bankruptcy Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald, who is retiring from the bench, on May 31 transferred the case to another bankruptcy judge (In re...

Asbestos Coverage Disputes Between Flintkote, Insurers Go To Binding Arbitration

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on June 20 granted relief from the automatic stay in The Flintkote Co.'s Chapter 11 case so that Flintkote and certain London market insurance companies can participate in binding arbitration to resolve disputes over insurance coverage for asbestos...

Judge: Insurance Guaranty Association Failed To Show Product Liability Claim

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA), substituting for an insolvent insurer, failed to establish that a cooker was defective and caused an insured's fire, a Florida federal judge held July 18 (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. National Presto Industries Inc.,...

Bankruptcy Judge Nixes Garlock Appeal Of Pittsburgh Corning's Plan Confirmation

PITTSBURGH - An appeal of confirmation of Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization by fellow asbestos bankruptcy debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC was rejected July 23 by a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge, who found the appeal to be a "nullity" pending a...

8th Circuit: No Coverage For Damage Caused By Aquarium Heater Sold By Petco

ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage for damage caused by a defective aquarium heater in a product liability coverage dispute (Petco Animal Supplies Stores Inc., et al. v. Insurance Company of North America...

Delaware Court Hears Arguments Over Appointment Of Receiver For Dissolved Company

WILMINGTON, Del. - The Delaware Supreme Court on Aug. 21 heard oral arguments on whether a judge erred by not appointing a receiver to handle the undistributed insurance proceeds of a dissolved corporation based on asbestos plaintiffs' inability to prevail in actions against it (Anderson v. Krafft...

9th Circuit Seeks Briefing From Plant, Insurers On Contribution Rights

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 directed Chapter 11 debtor Plant Insulation Co. and insurance companies appealing Plant's confirmed plan of reorganization to provide additional briefing on the insurers' argument that the plan and its injunctions affect their...

Health Plans Seek Reimbursement From Pfizer For Asbestos Medical Care

NEW YORK - Thirty-two insurers and health care plans on Sept. 5 sought relief in New York federal bankruptcy court from an injunction in the Chapter 11 case of Quigley Co. Inc. so they can sue Quigley parent Pfizer Inc. for reimbursement of millions of dollars in benefits for asbestos victims, saying...

Judge Dismisses As Moot Insurers' Appeal Of Settlement In Plant Bankruptcy

SAN FRANCISCO - An appeal by nonsettling insurance companies of a $70 million settlement between Chapter 11 debtor Plant Insulation Co. and two other insurers is moot because the settlement is authorized by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and was consummated in good faith and the nonsettling insurers never...

Skinner's Case Closed; Asbestos Claims Can Proceed Against Insurers

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 11 dismissed the 12-year-old converted Chapter 7 case of Skinner Engine Co. Inc., allowing asbestos personal injury claims to proceed against the company's lone remaining asset - insurance policies - in the tort system (In re: Skinner...

Special Master Denies Pre-Deposition Meeting After Plaintiffs Withdraw Approval

NEW YORK - A defendant in a couple's asbestos action may not confer with a diagnosing expert in Milan, Italy, before his deposition because the plaintiffs withdrew their authorization, the special master overseeing discovery in New York held Sept. 26 (John W. Adler v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190392-2012...

Federal Judge Compels Arbitration In Disputes Over Asbestos Insurance Coverage

WILMINGTON, Del. - Two insurance companies involved in long-running disputes with Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co. over coverage for asbestos claims are bound by an "expansive" 28-year-old agreement to participate in arbitration to resolve the disputes, a Delaware federal judge held Sept...

9th Circuit Vacates Asbestos Bankruptcy Reorganization; Says Trust Isn't In Control

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 28 vacated the bankruptcy reorganization plan for a former asbestos insulator, finding that the plan failed to satisfy the requirements of Section 524(g) of the Bankruptcy Code dealing with control by asbestos trusts (In Re: Plant Insulation...

Bankruptcy Judge Denies Reconsideration Of Pittsburgh Corning Plan Confirmation

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 12 mostly denied a motion by two insurance companies to reconsider confirmation of Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, granting the request only to make clear what affiliates of the debtor are protected from asbestos...

California Federal Judge Dismisses Insurer's Coverage Action Against Flintkote

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...

Delaware Court: Dissolved Company's Insurance Proceeds Warrant Appointing Receiver

WILMINGTON, Del. - Undistributed insurance proceeds are the property of a company dissolved more than 10 years ago, and a receiver must be appointed to defend against asbestos actions, the Delaware Supreme Court held Nov. 26 (Anderson v. Krafft-Murphy Co., No. 85,2013, Del. Sup.).

Defective Product Complaints Alleged Occurrence Under Umbrella Policy, Panel Rules

PITTSBURGH - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Dec. 3 found that underlying complaints involving defectively designed or manufactured windows and doors alleged an occurrence under a commercial umbrella insurance policy, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Indalex...

Md. Federal Judge Interprets Insurance Coverage In Favor Of Asbestos Defendant

BALTIMORE - While two insurance companies are correct that Maryland follows the horizontal exhaustion rule for determining primary and excess policy coverage, the rule must be applied based on the theory of pro-rata allocation, as a former insulation company seeking coverage for asbestos personal injury...

Federal Judge Dismisses Insured, Insurer's Common- Law Negligence Claim

ABERDEEN, Miss. - An insured and its insurer do not sufficiently allege a common-law negligence claim against a manufacturer for allegedly defective metal coupling in piping that led to water damage, a Mississippi federal judge held Jan. 14; however, the judge refused to dismiss their claim for manufacturing...

Podiatrist Admits Lying To Grand Jury Investigating Orthofix Health Care Fraud

BOSTON - A Virginia podiatrist on Jan. 15 pleaded guilty to lying to a federal grand jury during an investigation into health care fraud and kickbacks related to bone growth stimulators sold by Orthofix Holdings Inc. (United States of America v. Ilene Terrell, No. 1:13-10180, D. Mass.).