LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
State Claims Against Gas Traders Are Not Preempted, 9th Circuit Rules

SAN FRANCISCO - Natural gas purchasers' state law claims alleging that gas companies conspired to manipulate the natural gas market, which gave rise to the energy crisis in 2000-2001, are not barred by the Natural Gas Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 10 (In re: Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation $(Learjet, Inc., et al. v. ONEOK, Inc., et al., No. 11-16786; Heartland Regional Medical Center, et al. v. ONEOK, Inc., et al., No. 11-16798; Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado, LLC, et al. v. Xcel Energy, Inc., et al., No. 11-16799; Reorganized FLI, Inc. v. ONEOK, Inc., et al., No. 11-16802; Sinclair Oil Corporation v. ONEOK Energy Services Company, L.P., No. 11-16818; Sinclair Oil Corporation v. eprime, Inc., et al., No. 11-16821; Arandell Corporation, et al. v. Xcel Energy, Inc., et al., No. 11-16869; Newpage Wisconsin System, Inc. v. CMS Energy Corporation, et al., No. 11-16876; Arandell Corporation, et al., v. CMS Energy Corporation, et al., No. 11-16880$), 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7234).

Former Dodgers Owner's Ex-Wife Objects To Enforcement Of Confidentiality Order

WILMINGTON, Del. - Jamie McCourt, the ex-wife of the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, Frank McCourt, on April 15 filed a brief in bankruptcy court objecting to a motion seeking to enforce a confirmation order that would rule that certain documents sought in discovery pertaining to her divorce action were privileged (In Re: Los Angeles Dodgers, No. 11-12010, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Denies $20M Bonus For AMR CEO, Says Bankruptcy Code Prohibits It

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on April 11 denied a $20 million bonus to AMR's CEO Thomas Horton, saying that the Bankruptcy Code "curtails payment of retention incentives or severance to insiders of a debtor" (In Re: AMR Corp., No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Rothstein Trustee: Privilege Prohibits Production Of Documents

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Chapter 11 trustee in the bankruptcy of former law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (RRA), on April 12 filed a brief contending that a creditor's motion to compel documents should be denied because it sought documents that were privileged (In Re: Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, No. 09-34791, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Sets Protocol For Production Of Claims Information To Garlock

WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal bankruptcy judge in Delaware and Pennsylvania on April 9 established the protocol for debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC to follow to obtain information about asbestos claimants filed in 12 other Chapter 11 cases, making clear that the information can be used only for the asbestos liability proceeding in Garlock's case (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-1139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

4th Circuit Affirms Bankruptcy Court Ruling That Conflict Of Interest Not Shown

RICHMOND, Va. - A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 11 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling that there was no conflict of interest in a company's bankruptcy proceeding because a lawsuit that had been filed against a principal of the debtor company by the firm that was appointed as bankruptcy counsel was "an unrelated matter" to the bankruptcy at hand (Alex Rahmi v. Robert W. Trumble $(In Re: Bon-Air Partnership$), No. 12-1244, Chapter 7, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7316).

8th Circuit Orders Dismissal Of DPPA Class Suit Against West Publishing

ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 9 dismissed a class complaint accusing West Publishing Corp. of various federal violations in connection with the sale of motor vehicle records (Marcy A. Johnson, et al. v. West Publishing Corporation, No. 12-1172, 8th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7110).

'Girls Gone Wild' Video Maker Says Attorney Does Not Have Conflict Of Interest

LOS ANGELES - Bankrupt adult entertainment company GGW Brands LLC, the parent company of the producer of videos called "Girls Gone Wild," on April 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California contending that the attorney it seeks to permission to appoint does not pose a conflict of interest for the company (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Appoints Chapter 11 Trustee In 'Girls Gone Wild' Video Maker Case

LOS ANGELES - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of GGW Brands LLC, the parent company that produces adult entertainment videos under the name "Girls Gone Wild," on April 11 appointed a Chapter 11 trustee, overruling the company's objections (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 13-15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Federal Magistrate Dismisses State Wage Claim For 2nd Time, Allows Amendment

CHICAGO - A cable company line technician's class overtime claim under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA) was dismissed the second time in an April 11 opinion filed by an Illinois federal magistrate judge, who opined that such a claim was permissible only under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (IMWL) (James Brand, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al., No. 12-1122, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52098).

U.S. Trustee Says Tribune Indenture Trustees Not Entitled To Fees

WILMINGTON, Del. - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Tribune Co. on April 11 filed two briefs amending her objection to the Law Debenture Trust Company of New York (LDTCNY) and Wilmington Trust Co.'s applications for allowance of claims for fees valued at a combined total of more than $13.25 million, arguing that the fees are "unreasonable"(In Re: Tribune Company, No. 08-13141, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Rothstein Trustee Argues Chapter 7 Conversion Lacks 'Legitimate' Basis

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Chapter 11 trustee in the bankruptcy of law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (RRA) filed a brief on April 10 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida objecting to a motion by various creditors who seek to have the bankruptcy converted to Chapter 7, saying there is "absolutely no legitimate or statutory basis to convert the case" (In Re: Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, No. 09-34791, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).

Landlords Object To Bidding Procedures For Bankrupt Clothier Big M Inc.

TRENTON, N.J. - A group of landlords on April 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey objecting to bidding procedures proposed by bankrupt clothier Big M Inc., the parent company for Mandee and Annie Sez (In Re: Big M Inc., No. 13-10233, Chapter 11, D. N.J. Bkcy.).

Reader's Digest Amends Plan, Restructures More Than $513.62M In Secured Debt

NEW YORK - Bankrupt RDA Holding Co., the parent company of Reader's Digest, on April 11 filed an amended plan of reorganization that calls for the restructuring of more than $513.62 million in secured debt (In Re: RDA Holding Co., No. 13-22233, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

7th Circuit Rules Destitute Debtor's Student Loan Obligations Discharged

CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 10 ruled that a debtor's student loan obligations were discharged because she is destitute, with no likelihood of changing her financial situation (Susan M. Krieger v. Educational Credit Management Corporation, No. 12-3592, Chapter 7, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7202).

Bankrupt Medical Device Maker Gets $30 Million In Post-Petition Funding

WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Rotech Healthcare Inc. on April 9 issued an interim order approving $30 million in post-petition financing, also called debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing (In Re: Rotech Healthcare Inc., No. 13-10741, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

ResCap: Plan To Pay $7.8M In Bonuses To Key Employees Complies With Code

NEW YORK - Bankrupt financial group Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on April 9 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York defending its plan to pay $7.8 million in bonuses to key employees on grounds that it complies with the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Hostess Sells Remaining Bread Assets To Mountain States For $28.85 Million

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Hostess Brands Inc. on April 9 approved the sale of the company's bread assets to Mountain States Bakeries LLC, which paid a deposit of $1.5 million in anticipation of the full purchase price of $28.85 million pursuant to the asset sale agreement (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Clothier Big M, Parent Of Mandee, Annie Sez, Seeks OK For Asset Sale

TRENTON, N.J. - Bankrupt Big M Inc., the parent company for women's clothing companies Mandee and Annie Sez, on April 6 moved for authorization to sell all of its assets free and clear of liens, as well as approval of its stalking horse agreement (In Re: Big M Inc., No. 13-10233, Chapter 11, D. N.J. Bkcy.).

New Hampshire Jury Orders ExxonMobil To Pay $236M For MTBE Contamination

CONCORD, N.H. - A state court jury in New Hampshire on April 9 found that ExxonMobil Corp. was negligent in adding methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to gasoline and that it should pay $236 million to remediate groundwater contamination caused by the additive (State of New Hampshire v. Hess Corporation, et al., No. 03-C-0550, N.H. Super., Merrimack Co.).

Judge Grants Reinsurer's Motion To Compel Discovery Against Reinsured

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on April 8 granted a reinsurer's motion to compel discovery of certain materials, holding that the reinsurer's contentions are in accord with controlling New York law (Travelers Indemnity Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No. 11-cv-01209, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50134).

7th Circuit Reverses: Delay In Naming Trustee Did Not Extend Limitations Period

CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 8 reversed and remanded a bankruptcy case, ruling that the statute of limitations for filing avoidance claims was not extended as a result of a delay in appointing the Chapter 7 trustee (Richard M. Fogel v. Ronald Shabat $(In Re: Nachshon Draiman$), No, 12-3888, Chapter 7, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7045).

European Vodka Seller's Chapter 11 Would Resolve More Than $1.73B In Debt

WILMINGTON, Del. - Liquor company Central European Distribution Co. (CEDC) on April 7 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware using a prepackaged plan of reorganization that would resolve its more than $1.73 billion in debt (In Re: Central European Distribution Company, No. 13-10738, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

AmBac Financial Seeks Approval Of $101.9M Settlement Payment To Resolve IRS Claims

NEW YORK - Bankrupt AmBac Financial Group Inc. on April 8 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service under which AmBac will pay $101.9 million to the U.S. government (In Re: AmBac Financial Group Inc., No. 10-15973, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Judge Says Ethical Wall Allows Silver Point To Trade MF Global Securities

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on April 8 approved the motion of Silver Point Capital for an order permitting securities trading upon the establishment of an ethical wall (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).