WILMINGTON, Del. - A timber company's claim that its land was contaminated with asbestos from W.R. Grace & Co.'s mining operations near Libby, Mont., is discharged and enjoined by W.R. Grace's confirmed Chapter 11 reorganization plan because the claim was filed too late, even though the timber company had ample knowledge about the possible damage to the land, W.R. Grace says in an April 21 motion in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Neither the confirmation order for W.R. Grace & Co.'s reorganization plan nor a proposed case management order precludes a Delaware federal bankruptcy court from certifying a class of building owners that hold property damage claims against the debtor, a South Carolina hospital argues in an April 11 reply brief (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 4 awarded insurers partial summary judgment in a coverage dispute with Chapter 11 debtor The Flintkote Co., finding that the insurers are obligated under the policies at issue to pay Flintkote only for the amount Flintkote actually pays to asbestos claimants through its post-bankruptcy trust (The Flintkote Company v. Aviva PLC, No. 15-cv-01638, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46090).
DETROIT - A federal bankruptcy judge in Michigan on March 25 denied a petitioner's motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding brought by the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (agency) in which it seeks to recover $14,838.68 for unemployment benefit overpayments, ruling that the amount was not dischargeable under 11 U.S. Code Section 523(a)(2)(A) (In re: Stanley R. Kozlowski III, Debtor, Case No. 15-51057, Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency v. Stanley R. Kozlowski III, No. 15-5123, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.; 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 936).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 18 affirmed an award entered in a bankruptcy court for damages against a bank for its violation of an automatic stay by sending out letters containing statements of foreclosure to a homeowner in bankruptcy (In re: Brenda A. Ogden; PNC Bank N.A. v. Brenda A. Ogden, No. 15-01274, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35338).
CHICAGO - With Chapter 11 debtor The Budd Co. Inc. agreeing to increase funding to pay uninsured asbestos claims in its latest proposed plan of reorganization by at least 1,400 percent, a representative for future claimants is not needed in the case, according to the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants, which says in a March 18 motion to dispense with the appointment of a future claimants' representative (FCR) that it sufficiently represents the interests of all asbestos claimants (In re: The Budd Company, Inc., No. 14-11873, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Manufacturing conglomerate EnPro Industries Inc., the ultimate parent of Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, will pay nearly $500 million to settle all asbestos claims against Garlock, EnPro and Garlock direct parent Coltec Industries Inc. in a global settlement announced March 17 that includes releases of all of Garlock's fraud and racketeering claims against several asbestos plaintiffs' law firms and attorneys.
NEW YORK - While a federal bankruptcy judge correctly found that an asbestosis victim's negligence and conspiracy claims against Johns-Manville Corp.'s longtime insurance broker are barred by the reorganization plan confirmation orders in the case, she erred in finding that the claimant received sufficient due process in connection with the entry of those orders and must decide that issue on remand, a New York federal judge ruled March 14 (The Bogdan Law Firm v. Marsh USA, Inc., et al., No. 15-6607, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33457).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on March 11 asked a Delaware federal court to consolidate two appeals filed by five asbestos personal injury claimants challenging bankruptcy court rulings confirming EFH's reorganization plan and denying certification for a class of future asbestos claimants (Michael Cunningham, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1218, D. Del.; Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 15-1183, D. Del.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 14 partially dismissed an insurance bad faith claim in a breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that a number of claims made by an insured are covered by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) while others are not (Berkys Urena v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-570, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32562).
NEW YORK - An asbestos personal injury attorney who says a bankruptcy trust breached its fiduciary duties to trust beneficiaries by halting him from filing further claims cannot show that his past claimants are actual trust beneficiaries because he has submitted unreliable evidence to other trusts, the accused trust says in a March 9 brief filed at the request of a New York federal bankruptcy judge (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Michael J. Mandelbrot and The Mandelbrot Law Firm, No. 15-01296], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah legislators on March 10 sent to the governor legislation requiring asbestos plaintiffs to declare under oath that they investigated all potential claims arising with asbestos bankruptcy trusts and filed relevant claims.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Legislation that proponents claim will bring transparency to asbestos litigation and asbestos bankruptcy trusts passed the Tennessee House March 10 in a unanimous vote.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Complaints about a plaintiff's alleged failure to disclose the existence of additional asbestos exposures involves perjury claims subject to a one-year limitations period, not fraud, a Kentucky court held in affirming dismissal March 4 (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Delores Ann Robertson, et al., No. 2013-CA-001546-MR, Ky. App.; 2016 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 175).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 1 approved an agreement between an insurer's receivership estate and a trust set up to deal with asbestos related claims against a company in bankruptcy (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
CHICAGO - A labor union representing 5,500 retirees and spouses, dependents and surviving spouses of retirees of Chapter 11 debtor The Budd Co. Inc. on Feb. 23 objected to the disclosure statement for Budd's plan of reorganization, saying it does not provide adequate information about several issues, including the treatment of retiree claims and future health care benefits (In re: The Budd Company, Inc., No. 14-11873, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and the three insurers that have not settled their coverage disputes with the debtor on Feb. 22 agreed to a briefing schedule and hearing date for Rapid-American's motions for summary judgment on the insurers' obligation to pay for asbestos personal injury claims (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A law firm's study of asbestos personal injury claim evidence in the Chapter 11 case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC "shows widespread inconsistencies in the information single asbestos plaintiffs provide to the different" asbestos bankruptcy trusts, according to a Feb. 19 news release by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 19 gave new Chapter 11 debtor Eagle Inc. three more months to file a plan of reorganization, an extension supported by one of the debtor's insurers, which said more information about Eagle's activities and plans is needed before terminating the debtor's exclusive right to file a reorganization plan (In re: Eagle, Inc., No. 15-12437, E.D. La. Bkcy.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insurer in rehabilitation asked a Texas court on Feb. 16 to approve a nearly $9 million payment to an asbestos bodily injury trust (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 11 modified the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of The Budd Co. Inc. so 123 asbestos claimants can pursue their claims against Budd in the tort system; however, the bankruptcy judge then stayed his order to allow Budd to file arguments regarding the current state of its insurance coverage (In re: The Budd Company, Inc., No. 14-11873, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 3 heard testimony from lawyers, a former judge and the wife a former congressman who died of mesothelioma during hearings on legislation addressing the need for transparency in asbestos trusts.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Frequent asbestos personal injury defendant John Crane Inc. on Jan. 25 sought permission in North Carolina federal court to intervene in two fraud and racketeering cases filed by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC against plaintiff law firms and attorneys in order to pursue its own fraud claims against the firms (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al. v. Shein Law Center, Ltd., et al., No. 14-137, Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, APLC, et al., No. 14-116, W.D. N.C.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 19 approved a request by the administrator for the plan of reorganization of reorganized ASARCO LLC to return up to $9 million in unused bankruptcy funding to the company (In re: ASARCO LLC, No. 05-21207, S.D. Texas Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - The asbestos claimants' committee in the Chapter 11 case of The Budd Co. Inc. on Jan. 19 asked an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge to delay the deadline to respond to the debtor's latest objections to hundreds of asbestos personal injury claims in order to give a district court time to rule on the committee's bid to have the dispute decided in that venue (In re: The Budd Company, Inc., No. 14-11873, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).