PHILADELPHIA - Less than two months after having its fraud and racketeering claims against two law firms and their founders dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, John Crane Inc. (JCI) filed the identical claims against one of the firms and its principals in Pennsylvania federal court May 15 (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 2:17-cv-02210, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on May 15 declined to award summary judgment to either Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. or one of its insurers in a dispute over whether a policy has a $7 million or $14 million limit for asbestos liability claims, saying the policy is too ambiguous to interpret at this stage (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A trial court erred by releasing an asbestos settlement trust of any duty to pay a law firm for work on a claim filed with an insolvent insurer despite finding that the firm performed some uncompensated work on that claim for which a promise to pay was implied, a Minnesota panel held May 8 (Faricy Law Firm, P.A., v. API Inc., Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. A16-1539, Minn. App., 2017 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 421).
NEWARK, N.J. - A dispute among several companies, including former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc., over who should pay for the cleanup of a 26-acre polluted industrial site in New Jersey does not belong in federal bankruptcy court, a federal judge ruled May 5 in agreeing to remand the case to state court (G-I Holdings Inc., et al. v. Ashland Inc., et al., No. 17-0077, D. N.J.).
ST. LOUIS - A disability claimant is not barred from pursuing a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the claimant was not required to disclose the disability benefits claim as part of her assets in a bankruptcy case as the disability claim did not begin to accrue until after the bankruptcy case was filed, a Missouri federal magistrate judge said May 2 (Rochelle Byrd v. Wellpoint Flexible Benefit Plan, et al., No. 17-8, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66460.
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on May 1 declined to decide 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 G-I's appeal of a remand order in the dispute deprives her of jurisdiction (In re: G-I Holdings, Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1194).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 said it will not review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that personal injury, wrongful death and economic loss claims over a defective ignition switch can be filed against General Motors LLC because they fall within the "free and clear" provision of the bankruptcy sale between General Motors Corp. and General Motors LLC (General Motors LLC v. Celestine Elliot, et al., No. 16-764, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on April 26 stayed briefing on an appeal filed by four asbestos personal injury claimants who say several affiliates of debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) did not have a valid bankruptcy purpose when filing their Chapter 11 petitions but rather filed for bankruptcy as a litigation tactic to evade asbestos liabilities (Shirley Fenicle, et al. v. Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 17-9, D. Del.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC should be confirmed because it meets all federal bankruptcy law requirements and is the best option for asbestos personal injury claimants, 95 percent of whom voted to accept the plan, the debtor says in its April 21 pre-confirmation hearing brief (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - Because a federal court's ruling enforcing a permanent anti-suit injunction issued as part of a $5.5 billion settlement in the Chapter 11 case of Tronox Inc. is not a final order, it cannot be appealed by 4,300 individuals who say they were injured from the company's operation of a wood-treatment plant in Pennsylvania, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 20 (Avoca plaintiffs, et al. v. Kerr-McGee Corp., et al., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6949).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 17 granted a motion filed by two insurers to withdraw an insured's adversary proceeding from bankruptcy court because the bankruptcy court does not have the authority to decide the breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the insurers in the adversary proceeding (Phillip Michael Scott v. AIG Property Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-1052, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58339).
PITTSBURGH - There is neither sufficient cause nor subject matter jurisdiction to reopen the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) at the request of the company's asbestos trust to determine whether thousands of claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, the claimants told a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court April 14 (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The government is improperly withholding payments from, and setting off debts owed by, a failed South Carolina Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) co-operative insurer, illegally placing its own interests before those of policyholders and others entitled to priority, the insurer's liquidator allege in an April 12 federal complaint filed in South Carolina (Raymond G. Farmer, et al. v. The United States of America, et al., No. 17-956, D. S.C.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 24 denied an architect's appeal seeking to reverse a ruling in favor of a home builder's insurer in a breach of contract dispute arising from an underlying $63,471,000 copyright infringement dispute, rejecting the architect's argument that an unobjected-to proof of claim in a bankruptcy case should be allowed and should become a final judgment when the bankruptcy case is closed (Kipp Flores Architects, LLC v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 16-20255, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5241).
CHICAGO - Illinois federal court is the wrong jurisdiction for John Crane Inc.'s fraud and racketeering claims against two law firms and their founders, two federal judges held separately March 23 in dismissing the company's lawsuits, but without prejudice to refile the actions in the proper courts (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., No. 16-5913, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42758, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 16-5918, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41840).
NEW YORK - An asbestos action filed outside Wisconsin's two-year window for suing Special Electric Co. Inc. after its dissolution is untimely, and an earlier motion to reopen and enforce its bankruptcy plan does not save the case, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 21 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Thomas McGlynn v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190219/2016, 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 900, In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Bertle Stromholm, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., No. 190177/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
PITTSBURGH - Trustees for the asbestos trust established by the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) said March 17 in Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court that they want to reopen the case to find out whether more than $9 billion in claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, which has assets of less than $4 billion (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insurer cannot pursue arbitration against Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC and affiliates for a coverage dispute with a third-party manufacturer but can file a late proof of claim against the debtors without prejudice to its arbitration rights, according to a consent order filed March 16 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on March 2 denied summary judgment to both Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and two of its insurers in a dispute over whether a policy has a $10 million or $30 million limit for asbestos liability claims (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Feb. 3 added three asbestos claimants from the new Chapter 11 case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC affiliate OldCo LLC to the claimants committee in Garlock's case after agreeing that the cases should be jointly administered (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, In re: OldCo, LLC, successor by merger to Coltec Industries Inc., No. 17-30140, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 30 denied a request by five asbestos personal injury claimants to transfer the Chapter 11 case of former gypsum plaster and wallboard manufacturer Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. to another venue, finding that the filing meets U.S. Bankruptcy Code venue requirements and that transfer "would not be in the interests of justice or for the convenience of the parties" (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., at al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Jan. 20 that it will hear a direct appeal by 27 asbestos disease sufferers of a bankruptcy court's finding that their personal injury claims against insurers of reorganized Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. are barred (Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 17-8002, 3rd Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - Claim information submitted to asbestos trusts is discoverable in an asbestos personal injury action, but information about past settlements with asbestos trusts or defendants is not, a Louisiana federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 23 (Jesse Frank Sheppard v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-2401, E.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8595).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge in a Jan. 19 minute order gave Chapter 11 debtor Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc. six more months to file a plan of reorganization that the debtor hopes will include a trust to resolve asbestos claims (In re Kaiser Gypsum Company, Inc., at al., No. 16-31602, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A bankruptcy court properly exercised its jurisdiction when determining that a mesothelioma sufferer's premises liability claim against a subsidiary of Johns-Manville Corp. arose long before the subsidiary filed for bankruptcy protection and is therefore enjoined and channeled to Johns-Mansville's asbestos trust, the subsidiary argues in a Jan. 19 brief filed in a New York federal court appeal (Lynda Berry v. Graphic Packaging International, Inc., No. 16-5817, S.D. N.Y.).