Delaware Federal Judge Denies Stay Of Bankrupt Company's Reorganization

WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt asbestos products company Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC failed to show that its appeal of the confirmation of W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization is likely to succeed, and delaying implementation of the plan will harm Grace and people suffering...

Judge: Constitutional Standing Applies To Federal Court Competition Law Cases

SAN FRANCISCO - Constitutional standing requirements, not the statutory requirements found in the California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 , apply to federal actions, and the lack of likely future injury bars consumers' actions against a service process company...

Judge Refuses To Certify Class Related To Alleged Mold At Resort Properties

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 13 denied a motion for certification of a putative class action filed by the owner of a time-share that allegedly contained water leaks and mold, finding that individual issues predominated over the common issues of the proposed class (Hermengildo ("Jay"...

Alaska Supreme Court Says Tobacco Penalties Don't Violate Due Process

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Saying a 2007 amendment to state law governing tobacco sales to minors addresses due process concerns by creating a rebuttable presumption of negligence when an employee is found guilty of such sales, the Alaska Supreme Court on July 20 affirmed a lower court's decision to fine...

Property Damage Claimant In Grace Bankruptcy Denied Relief From Confirmation Order

WILMINGTON, Del. - A recent court ruling that further defines when a claim arises in bankruptcy does not constitute an exceptional circumstance warranting relief from confirmation of W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 reorganization plan sought by a property damage claimant, a federal judge in Delaware...

$37M Settlement Reached In Tronox Investor Class Action Lawsuit

NEW YORK - Shareholders and defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a chemical company, certain of its officers and directors and others have agreed to a $37 million settlement of all federal securities law claims, according to court documents made available on Aug. 7 (In re Tronox, Inc...

Judge: 'Newport' Smokes Infringe On Lorillard's Newport Menthol Brand

RICHMOND, Va. - A putative synthetic marijuana product marketed as "Newprot" infringes on the manufacturer of Newport brand menthol cigarettes, a Virginia federal judge said Aug. 7 in an opinion that awarded the tobacco company attorney fees (Lorillard Tobacco Company, et al. v. California...

New Hampshire Supreme Court Vacates Light Cigarette Class

CONCORD, N.H. - Saying sufficient public information existed to call into question whether plaintiffs were uniformly unaware that light cigarettes were as dangerous as regular ones, the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Aug. 21 vacated certification of a class action lawsuit alleging that Philip Morris...

Judge Issues Ruling For Companies On Time-Share Owner's Mold-Related Claims

SAN DIEGO - After finding that numerous claims asserted by a time-share owner who alleged that resort properties contained mold and water damage failed, a California federal judge on Oct. 30 granted summary judgment in favor of a group of companies that own the resorts on all of the claims asserted against...

9th Circuit: Sherman Act Doesn't Preempt, Nor Does Pact Waive, Tribal Sovereignty

SEATTLE - Antitrust laws do not preempt and a cigarette tax collection agreement between a Native American tribe and the State of Washington does not waive the tribe's sovereign immunity, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 13, affirming a lower federal court and two native courts ...

5th Circuit Reverses Award; Barclays Not Entitled To Fee In Asarco Chapter 11 Case

NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 reversed a fee award to Barclays Capital Inc. related to the financial services it rendered in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of Asarco LLC (Asarco LLC v. Barclays Capital Inc. [In The Matter of Asarco LLC], No. 11-41010...

Judge Accepts BP's Guilty Pleas, Agreement To Pay $4.5B In Penalties

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Jan. 29 approved BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s offer to plead guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter and pay $4.5 billion in criminal penalties for its role in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, and ensuing oil spill...

U.S. Government Sues Bankrupt ATP Oil & Gas For Violations Of Environmental Law

NEW ORLEANS - The U.S. government on Feb. 12 sued bankrupt oil and gas company ATP Oil & Gas Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, contending that the company made unlawful discharges of oil and another chemical into the Gulf of Mexico (United States of America v...

Bankrupt OSG Seeks Injunction Prohibiting Asbestos Claims;

WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) on April 25 filed a complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware seeking a ruling that lawsuits against the company related to asbestos exposure are stayed pending bankruptcy as per the automatic stay (In Re: Overseas...

Panel Affirms Grant Of Class Certification In Securities Lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in granting class certification in a securities class action lawsuit because price impact evidence does not bear on the inquiry into whether common issues predominate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Finding No Federal Question, Judge Remands California's Tobacco Tax Suit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge has granted remand of tobacco excise tax evasion and unfair business practice claims to state court, saying in an opinion filed May 15 that the state's complaint raised no federal question (People of the State of California, et al v. Darren Paul Rose...

Alleged Smugglers Enjoined From Selling Cigarettes In New York

NEW YORK - A couple suspected of bringing untaxed cigarettes into New York from a Native American reservation have been preliminarily enjoined against the alleged activity by a New York federal judge, who also denied their motion to dismiss in a May 21 opinion and order (The City of New York v. Robert...

Bankruptcy Judge Rejects Barclays' Fee Enhancement For Work On ASARCO Case

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Barclays Capital Inc. was adequately compensated for the 14 months of financial advisory services it provided in ASARCO LLC's bankruptcy case and is not entitled to a fee enhancement because Barclays should have anticipated the complicated developments in the case when it...

Attorney Claims Asbestos Firm Failed In Duty As Self-Insured Malpractice Carrier

SAN FRANCISCO - In a complaint filed July 1, an attorney claims that asbestos plaintiffs' law firm's conduct and errors resulted in legal malpractice claims against him and that the firm violated the California's unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to properly defend him from the charges...

California Judge Rules 'Light' Cigarette Smokers Suffered No Economic Loss

SAN DIEGO - Smokers of Marlboro Lights in California suffered no economic loss and are entitled to no compensation under the state's unfair competition law and false advertising law, a California Superior Court judge said in a Sept. 24 final decision in a 16-year-old class action, according to an...

1st Circuit Affirms That Civil Fines Against Debtor Are Administrative Expenses

BOSTON - A panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 affirmed a ruling that treated environmental fines against a debtor company as administrative expenses in the bankruptcy proceeding (Munces' Superior Petroleum Products Inc. v. N.H. Department of Environmental of Services $(In...

Cigarette Distributor May Not Deduct From Taxes For Unpaid Settlement Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A distributor of imported cigarettes may not claim tax deductions for unpaid obligations to the national tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), a U.S. Tax Court judge ruled Dec. 4, and is liable for back taxes totaling more than $38 million for the years 2004 and 2006 (Vidal Suriel...

Bankrupt OSG Says Asbestos Claims Were Dismissed Prior Petition Filing Date

WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) on Jan. 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to asbestos claims filed against the bankruptcy estate on grounds that they were dismissed prior to when OSG filed its bankruptcy petition (In...

Rolling Paper Maker Wins Injunction Against Alleged Infringement

CHICAGO - The nation's largest manufacturer of roll-your-own cigarette products obtained an injunction and summary judgment on infringement claims Jan. 22 in Illinois federal court against convenience stores it alleged distributed counterfeit versions of its products (Top Tobacco v. Midwestern Cash...

Split 3rd Circuit: Injury Claims Are Property Of Debtor's Bankruptcy Estate

PHILADELPHIA - A split panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 24 affirmed a ruling that the claims of personal injury plaintiffs against a debtor company belonged to the bankruptcy estate (In re: Emoral Inc., No. 13-1467, Chapter 11, 3rd Cir.).