NEW YORK -
SAN FRANCISCO - A California judge on Nov. 5 ordered the end of the conservatorship of an insurer and authorized a final $3.1 million distribution to a liquidating trust (Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. Majestic Insurance Company, No. CPF-11-511261, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal court erred when it failed to consider that fraud occurred in asbestos claimant voting on Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization and that the fraud was "inherently and critically tied to procurement of the confirmation order," two insurance companies told the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 9 (Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, et al. v. Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, Nos. 15-2954, 14-4329, 3rd Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Nov. 5 granted the state's insurance commissioner's petition to place an insurer into liquidation (In re: Lincoln General Insurance Company In Liquidation, No. 1 LIN 2015, Pa. Cmwlth.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The asbestos claimants' committee in the Chapter 11 case of Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC should be ordered to produce "nonpublic" communications its members have made with claimants about Garlock's proposed plan of reorganization so the debtor can determine whether the committee has been attempting to improperly discredit the plan, Garlock says in a Nov. 5 motion filed in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 6 denied a request by an asbestos claimants' committee to compel Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC to provide certain discovery sought in the committee's first request for production of documents directed to Garlock regarding issues for the confirmation of Garlock's plan of reorganization (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, at al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Oct. 30 ordered the liquidation of an insurer following the consent to the liquidation by the insurer's sole shareholder (In re: Regis Insurance Company In Liquidation, No. 1 REG 2015, Pa. Cmwlth.).
MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on Oct. 29 ordered an insurer into rehabilitation, finding that the insurer's financial condition is hazardous to policyholders (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Affirmative Insurance Company of Michigan, No. 15-898-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - An asbestos plaintiffs' lawyer cannot pursue a declaratory judgment suit alleging that several asbestos personal injury trusts violated the terms of their respective distribution procedures by refusing to process his claims because he cannot show that he was harmed by the trusts' actions, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 15 in affirming a trial court's ruling (Michael J. Mandelbrot, et al. v. Armstrong World Industries Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust, et al., No. 14-4173, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17902).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Personal injury lawsuits brought against former insurers of W.R. Grace & Co. in Montana state courts do not violate the channeling injunction set forth in Grace's confirmed Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, so the state court plaintiffs should be awarded summary judgment on the insurers' declaratory judgment action filed in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, the plaintiffs say in an Oct. 8 brief (Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766, D. Del. Bkcy.).
PHILADELPHIA - With the Chapter 11 plan of reorganization for The Flintkote Co. and Canadian affiliate Flintkote Mines Ltd. becoming effective and the plan being substantially consummated, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 8 dismissed an appeal of the plan confirmation by Flintkote's former parent company at the request of all parties (Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited, et al. v. The Flintkote Company, et al., No. 14-3367, 3rd Cir.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Negotiations conducted after Jan. 16 between asbestos claimants and Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC on a plan of reorganization for the debtor will be kept confidential and out of the reach of discovery in the plan confirmation process based on a stipulation between the parties, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy ruled Sept. 23 (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 23 denied a discovery request by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC for information from 13 law firms concerning settlement payments received by non-mesothelioma claimants after the targeted law firms and an asbestos claimants' committee objected to the discovery on several grounds (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - A federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 22 authorized a newly formed asbestos claimants' committee in the recent Chapter 11 case of defunct boiler manufacturer Oakfabco Inc. to retain Illinois law firm FrankGecker LLP as the committee's counsel (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The trustees of the asbestos trust established in the landmark Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp. abused their discretion and breached their fiduciary duties of impartiality and loyalty when they decided to disallow the submission of claims from a California attorney based on allegations that he has filed unreliable claim-related evidence with other asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, the attorney said Sept. 21 in his answer to the Johns-Manville trust's declaratory judgment adversary complaint (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.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp.'s (EFH) disclosure statement for its fourth amended plan of reorganization, filed Sept. 18 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, adds language about asbestos claims - including a statement from the asbestos creditors' committee - making clear that the claimants believe the plan cannot be confirmed without using Section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to address asbestos claims (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota federal bankruptcy judge on Sept. 9 remanded to state court an adversary case in which a law firm is seeking fee payments from an asbestos trust, finding that there is no bankruptcy court jurisdiction for the assets of the trust or for the law firm's asserted lien on those assets (In re: A.P.I., Inc. [Faricy Law Firm, P.A., v. A.P.I., Inc. Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 15-3096], No. 05-30073, D. Minn. Bkcy.; 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 3085).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal bankruptcy judge did not abuse her discretion when enforcing a stipulation under which an attorney must stop filing claims with two asbestos personal injury trusts and transfer pending claims to other attorneys, a federal judge in the state ruled Sept. 3 (Michael J. Mandelbrot, et al. v. J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust and Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust, No. 14-03883, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117941).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A broad discovery request by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC seeking information from 24 asbestos personal injury trusts and claims-processing facilities is an integral part of Garlock's attempt to establish a pattern of racketeering activity by an asbestos plaintiffs' law firm, a North Carolina federal judge held Sept. 3 in overruling the law firm's objections to a magistrate's approval of the discovery (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Belluck & Fox, LLP, et al., No. 3:14-cv-118, W.D. N.C.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Allegations made by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC in complaints filed against asbestos plaintiffs' attorneys and law firms are "more than adequate to state a claim for fraud," a North Carolina federal judge held Sept. 2 in denying motions to dismiss the complaints (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, APLC, et al., No. 14-116, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117028; Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC v. Shein Law Center, Ltd., et al., No. 14-137, W.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117027).
CANTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 27 found that borrowers failed to show that they were given a loan modification by a lender, granting the lender's motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim (In re: Shane Franklin Cultice, et al. v. OCWEN Loan Servicing LLC, No. 15-6013, Bkcy. N.D. Ohio; 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 2860).
ROCK HILL, S.C. - South Carolina Supreme Court guidance indicates that the workers' compensation statute acts as a statute of repose, eliminating claims forming the basis of a putative class action over the allegedly improperly handling asbestos bankruptcy trust claims, a federal judge affirmed Aug. 27 (Odell Parker, et al. v. Asbestos Processing LLC, et al., No. 11-1800, D. S.C., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113574).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Negotiations between asbestos claimants and Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC in a failed effort to reach a consensus on a plan of reorganization should remain confidential and out of the reach of discovery in the plan confirmation process, the claimants' committee says in an Aug. 24 motion for a protective order filed in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Fifteen asbestos personal injury claimants filed an objection Aug. 20 to the seventh omnibus objection of Chapter 11 debtor Reichhold Holdings US Inc. to certain asbestos claims, saying Reichhold may be using the omnibus claim objection procedures to steer asbestos claims to a company that plans to liquidate and may have no liability for such claims (In re: Reichhold Holdings US, Inc., et al., No. 14-12237, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 19 consolidated for oral argument motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in two adversary cases that ask the same question: whether the protective injunction in W.R. Grace & Co.'s Chapter 11 case bars asbestos personal injury claimants in Libby, Mont., from pursuing negligence and bad faith claims against the former debtors' insurers (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139 [Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766], [Ralph Hutt and Carl Osborn v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 14-50867], D. Del. Bkcy.).