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Mealey's Bankruptcy - Federal Judge Affirms Bankruptcy Judge's Ruling On Environmental Claims

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on Jan. 16 agreed with a bankruptcy court judge's ruling that a plaintiff company could not pursue environmental law claims against Flintkote Co. because Flintkote no longer owns the property at issue (In re: Flintkote Company, No. 12-1176-LPS, D. Del...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Law Firms Deny Garlock's Allegations Of Fraud, Conspiracy, RICO Violations

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several asbestos plaintiffs' law firms and attorneys deny allegations by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC that they schemed to defraud Garlock in tort system cases and say that complaints filed against them by Garlock should be dismissed because Garlock knew of...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Illinois Insurer Placed Into Rehabilitation

CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Jan. 20 ordered an insurance company into rehabilitation and appointed the state's acting director of insurance as rehabilitator (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. James A. Stephens, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Millers Classified...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - ACA's Experimental, Consumer-Owned Insurer Funded With $146M Fails

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa insurance commissioner will liquidate CoOportunity Health Inc., a consumer-owned health insurance company started with $146 million in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) funds, it announced Jan. 23 (State of Iowa, et al. v. CoOpportunity Health Inc., No...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Vermont High Court Finds Liquidation Final Bar Date Unfair To Excess Insurer

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Vermont Supreme Court on Jan. 23 reversed a trial court's establishment of a final bar date because an insurer's liquidation estate has ample assets and the final bar date would be unfair to insureds and others with long-tail asbestos-related claims (In re Ambassador Insurance...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Texas Congressman Reintroduces Asbestos Trust Disclosure Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, on Jan. 26 reintroduced a bill that would amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to require asbestos trusts to submit quarterly reports containing detailed information on claims made to the trusts.

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Asbestos Agreements Between Budd, Insurers Are Confidential, Judge Rules

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 27 issued an agreed-to protective order designating as confidential nine agreements between Chapter 11 debtor The Budd Co. Inc. and insurance companies involving the settlement or defense of asbestos personal injury claims and documents related to...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - House Subcommittee Hears Conflicting Testimony On Asbestos Trust Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Fraudulent concealment of exposure evidence by asbestos personal injury attorneys "is far closer to the norm that the exception," a law professor said at a U.S. House subcommittee hearing Feb. 4 on the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act, while one asbestos...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - 3rd Circuit Affirms: Sale Not Subject To Broad Patent License

PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge's decision to reject Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production's objections to the sale of six patents was proper, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 5 (In re: DDMG, No. 13-4278, 3rd Cir.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - 2nd Circuit: Bankruptcy Court Cannot Award Compensation From Plan Assets

NEW YORK - Bankruptcy courts do not have jurisdiction to award compensation to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and his retained legal accounting professionals out of assets in a 401(k) plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Panel: Insurance Guarantor's Obligations Based On When Insurer Was Liquidated

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 6 reversed and remanded a lower court decision against the state's insurance guaranty association, citing a recent case in which the appellate court determined the guarantor's obligations based on the statutory definition of "covered claim"...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Objector Loses Bid To Contest Value Of Water Rights In Utility Bankruptcy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico bankruptcy judge on Feb. 5 denied a request by objectors to retain the proceeds from the sale of a utility company because a state receiver allegedly undervalued the water rights belonging to a bankrupt company (In Re: Picacho Hills Utility Company, Inc., No. 13-10742...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - 1st Circuit: T&N Bankruptcy Plan Didn't Extend Stay; Trust's Claims Untimely

WORCESTER, Mass. - T&N Ltd.'s bankruptcy plan envisions claims against it for the purpose of accessing nontransferable asbestos-insurance assets, but provides no extension of the bankruptcy stay past discharge, a panel of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 11 (Nora M. Barraford...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Florida Panel Reverses Trial Court Ruling Regarding Appraisal In Sinkhole Case

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 20 reversed and remanded a lower court, holding that ordering the state's insurance guarantor to participate in an appraisal of a home's sinkhole damage is at odds with the guarantor's statutory mandate (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Florida Judge Orders Ancillary Receivership Of Nevada Insurer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida judge on Feb. 19 ordered a Nevada-domiciled insurer into an ancillary receivership after the insurer was put into liquidation in its home state (State of Florida, ex rel., the Florida Department of Financial Services v. Sensible Home Warranty, LLC, No. 2015-CA-0273, Fla...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - 3rd Circuit Halts Lawyer's Action Against Trusts Pending Motion To Dismiss

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 23 stayed an appeal by an attorney seeking to force six asbestos trusts to resume processing his claims until the court decides whether to dismiss the appeal at the request of the trusts for lack of jurisdiction (Michael J. Mandelbrot, et...

Payment Of Attorneys For Defending Fee Requests Debated In Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) There is no basis in the law for categorically denying payment to lawyers for successfully defending their fee applications in bankruptcy cases, attorney Aaron M. Streett of Texas law firm Baker Botts LLP told the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 25 in a case in which...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - West Virginia Senate Adopts Bankruptcy Trust Transparency Legislation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Senate on Feb. 27 unanimously adopted legislation requiring plaintiffs to submit sworn statements disclosing asbestos bankruptcy trust submissions and taking other measures that will allegedly contribute to transparency in the process.

Mealey's Bankruptcy - 8th Circuit Says Bank Did Not Prove That $2 Million Loss Was Caused By Forgery

ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 3 affirmed a lower court decision in favor of an insolvent insurer, holding that a bank did not prove that a purported forgery on a lease guaranty instrument caused the bank's loss of more than $2 million (BancInsure, Inc. v. Highland...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Judge Refuses To Transfer Garlock's Fraud, RICO Actions Against Law Firms

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The most efficient forum for Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC's four adversary complaints accusing several asbestos plaintiff law firms of fraud is in North Carolina, where Garlock's bankruptcy case is pending, a federal judge in that state ruled March 9 in...

Golf Channel Must Repay Nearly $6M in TV Ad Money to Stanford Receiver, Says Appeals Court

A federal appeals court has ordered The Golf Channel to repay nearly $6 million it received as payment for TV advertisement services from convicted Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, finding that the advertisement services provided no value to Stanford's victims and thus could not defeat a court-appointed...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Flintkote Gets Extensions To Seek Plan Confirmation, Remove Actions

WILMINGTON, Del. - With a second confirmation hearing for The Flintkote Co.'s plan of reorganization set for August, the Delaware federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the case on March 13 gave the debtor more time to file a plan, solicit votes on it and remove bankruptcy prepetition causes of action...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - With Insurance Suit Planned, Law Firm's Duties Expanded In Rapid-American Case

NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on March 16 expanded the services of the special insurance counsel for asbestos personal injury creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Rapid-American Corp. to include insurance coverage litigation expected to be filed against the debtor's remaining excess...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Florida Panel Reverses Order Compelling Appraisal In Sinkhole Coverage Dispute

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on March 13 found that a lower court erred in holding that insureds were entitled to appraisal of their claim for sinkhole damage, reversing, remanding and certifying two questions to the Florida Supreme Court (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., v. Daniel...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Florida Panel: State's Insurance Commissioner Cannot Be Compelled To Testify

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on March 12 issued a writ of certiorari and quashed a trial court's order compelling the deposition of the state's insurance commissioner in a suit against the accounting firm of three insolvent insurers (Florida Office of Insurance Regulation v....