CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An asbestos judgment winner can proceed with her appeal in a California court to recover more than $360,000 from Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co., despite objections by the company and its primary insurer, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge ruled June 14 in a minute order lifting the automatic bankruptcy stay (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The future claimants' representative (FCR) in the landmark bankruptcy case of Johns-Manville Corp. did not represent an asbestos claimants' in personam claims against the company's insurance broker, so the broker can be held independently liable for asbestos personal injury claims, a claimant's law firm says June 8 on appeal in New York federal court (The Bogdan Law Firm v. Marsh USA, Inc., No. 1:18-cv-01228, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 agreed with a federal judge that fraud and racketeering suits filed by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. (JCI) against two law firms and their principals do not belong in Illinois federal court just because JCI is located in that state (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., Nos. 17-1809 and 17-1926, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 17-1814, 7th Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on May 29 ordered Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. to assume a settlement agreement among the debtor's insurers for payment of asbestos claims, saying the assumption is conditioned on approval of Kaiser's plan to send stayed asbestos claims back to the tort system (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The due process violations suffered by future asbestos claimants from the reorganization plan of Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) are so egregious that the plan's treatment of the claimants demands reversal, eight such claimants told a Delaware federal court May 21 in their appeal of the plan's confirmation (Sherry Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., et al., No. 18-381, D. Del.).
CHICAGO - Attorneys representing Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. and counsel for the debtor's asbestos claimants will not get paid until progress is made in the nearly three-year-old case, an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge ruled May 17 (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on May 8 gave Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC four more months to remove any lawsuit filed against the company to a district court (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Two more people suffering from asbestos disease joined the fray over whether an insurer can be held liable for asbestos claims arising from the mining operations of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. in Libby, Mont., with the claimants filing an adversary complaint April 18 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking a declaration that the protective injunction in the debtor's reorganization plan does not apply to their claims against the insurer (Barbara Hunt, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No.18-50402, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PITTSBURGH - Two insurers of Chapter 11 debtor Geo. V. Hamilton Inc. are the only parties to object to the company's plan of reorganization, and the objections are more like "caveats" that should be resolved in time for the plan confirmation hearing, the insurers said Feb. 20 in an objection and a joinder filed in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court (In re Geo. V. Hamilton, Inc., No. 15-23704, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. on Feb. 21 modified its plan of liquidation and disclosure statement to answer questions by three insurers whose $9.78 million settlement offer was rejected by the debtor and who filed the only objection to the disclosure statement in the Illinois federal bankruptcy court case (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
JACKSON, Miss. - Nothing in the state's precedent or the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) precludes setting off an asbestos verdict with amounts recovered from asbestos trusts, a divided Mississippi Supreme Court held Feb. 15 (Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Bennie Oakes, et al., No. 2015-TS-00644, Miss. Sup., 2018 Miss. LEXIS 67).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Reversionary interests in land parcels are property of a reorganized debtor, and an insurer's liquidator is precluded from interfering with those interests, a New York federal bankruptcy judge ruled Feb. 15, ordering transfer of title to the reorganized debtor (In re: Frontier Insurance Group Inc., et al., Chapter 11, No. 05-36877, Benjamin Lawsky v. Frontier Insurance Group LLC, et al., Adv. Pro. No. 14-9022, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 442).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 17 approved in a minute order a settlement between Chapter 11 debtors Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. and Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. and the joint scheme administrator for two insolvent British insurers, setting claim values for the debtors in the insurers' run-off proceedings (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insurer of Chapter 11 debtor Hanson Permanente Cement Inc. sought relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay on Feb. 13 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court so it can pursue $2.8 million in reimbursements from other insurers for settlement payments made to asbestos personal injury claimants under a 2009 agreement (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., et al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and asbestos claimants in its bankruptcy case do not have standing to challenge subpoenas served by insurers to asbestos claims-processing facilities seeking evidence of fraud in the asbestos trust system, and besides, the information sought is relevant to the debtor's declaratory judgment action against the insurers, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Feb. 12 (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 378).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC is willing to take $750,000 in cash now from a purchaser of a defunct insurer's asbestos policy rather than wait for years to see if it can collect the policy's remaining $3.75 million from the insurer's liquidation proceedings, Bestwall says in a Feb. 1 motion in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Former employees of a bankrupt insurance and reinsurance services company filed a putative class action complaint on Feb. 1 in the Delaware bankruptcy court, alleging that they were laid off without proper notice under the Workers' Adjustment and Retraining Notice Act (WARN Act) (In re: Patriot National Inc., et al., Chapter 11, No. 18-10189, Michelle L. Cole, et al. v. Patriot National Inc., et al., Adv. Pro. No. 18-5, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC asked a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court on Feb. 1 to appoint Dallas attorney Sander L. Esserman to represent future asbestos personal injury claimants in the case (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 26 abstained from deciding a request by former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc. to enforce its reorganization plan injunction to bar indemnification claims for cleanup of a polluted industrial site, saying a state court is "fully capable of adjudicating" the claims and G-I's injunction bid (In re: G-I Holdings, Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 214).
NEW YORK - An asbestosis sufferer "received due process in every possible respect" as a future claimant in the long-running Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp., so he cannot pursue in personam claims against the company's insurance broker, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Jan. 24 on remand (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 166).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC on Jan. 23 received an extension from a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on the time it has to remove any lawsuit filed against the company to a district court, though the judge gave the debtor half the time it asked for (In re Bestwall LLC, No. 17-31795, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
BOSTON - In what it deemed a case of first impression, a divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 found that a trademark licensee retains only the right to seek prepetition damages following a Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession's rejection of the underlying license agreement (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 16-9016, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 870).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Insurers' rights to audit the T H Agriculture & Nutrition LLC (THAN) asbestos trust for evidence fraud must be decided at trial because the insurers and the trust put forth reasonable definitions of what those audit rights are, defeating summary judgment or dismissal, a Delaware state vice chancellor decided Jan. 11 (AIU Insurance Company, et al. v. Philips Electronics North America Corporation, et al., No. 9852, Del. Chanc.).
CHICAGO - Chapter 11 debtor Oakfabco Inc. gave the go-ahead Dec. 20 to asbestos claimants to pursue a nine-count fraudulent inducement complaint against Oakfabco insurers and a claims management company alleging that they knew that additional coverage was available for asbestos claims when the insurers attempted to settle with Oakfabco before it filed for bankruptcy (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A federal bankruptcy judge in New York on Dec. 15 denied Rapid-American Corp.'s request to make details of a proposed sale of claims on defunct insurance company, Midland Insurance Co., confidential, saying it had not even tried to give reason for the secrecy (In re: Rapid-American Corp., Chapter 11, No. 13-10687, S.D. Bkcy. N.Y., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 4266).