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 ...

State Of Wisconsin: NewPage Chapter 11 Plan Obstructs Environmental Cleanup

WILMINGTON, Del. - The State of Wisconsin on Nov. 29 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware arguing that bankrupt NewPage Corp.'s Chapter 11 reorganization plan should not be confirmed because it would hinder the state's ability to enforce various environmental...

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...

2nd Circuit: Environmental Claims Against Texaco Fail; Discharged In Bankruptcy

NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 ruled that a realty company's claims against Texaco Inc. related to contamination from environmental cleanup efforts were discharged as a result of Texaco's bankruptcy and subsequent successful confirmation of its reorganization...

Federal Judge: Settlement Between Debtor, Insurance Carrier Proper

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Jan. 10 ruled that an insurance settlement between a debtor and one of its insurers related to asbestos coverage was proper despite a separate insurer's contention that the settlement would increase its own liability related to asbestos claims Columbia Casualty...

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...

Pet Treat Class Actions Transferred From California To Pennsylvania Federal Court

SAN FRANCISCO - Class action lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging violations of consumer protection statutes and seeking damages in torts were transferred April 9 to the Western District of Pennsylvania where similar class actions alleging similar...

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...

High Court Won't Consider Whether Sherman Act Preempts Tribal Sovereignty

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 17 denied review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that 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...

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...

Supreme Court Denies Review In Antitrust Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court denied review on Oct. 7 of several antitrust cases involving issues related to price-fixing agreements and immunity from antitrust laws.

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...

Review Of Claims Rejected By FDIC Properly Dismissed, Panel Finds

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 26 affirmed the dismissal of a consumer's challenge of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s disallowance of his claims arising from his business with a failed bank, agreeing that the time limit for judicial review had elapsed (Sidney...

Panel Certifies Questions In FDIC's Suit Against Bank Executives

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 23 affirmed the denial of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion for summary judgment in a suit it brought, as the receiver for a failed bank, against the bank's former directors and officers and certified questions to a state court...

Federal Judge Awards Judgment To Government In Student Loan Dispute

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 26 granted summary judgment to the U.S. government in a student loan collection suit, finding that the debtor's defenses are not valid because the government, not the University of Miami, is the holder of the promissory notes at issue (United...

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.).