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U.S. Government Seeks To Quash Deposition Order In A123 Systems Bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Dec. 7 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for a protective order against a notice of deposition filed by the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of alternative energy company A123 Systems Inc. (In Re: A123 Systems Inc., No. 12-12859, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

U.S. High Court Will Not Hear Case Of Trademarks Being Used After Asset Sale

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 10 declined to hear arguments in a case in which a company that had purchased a debtor's trademarks at an asset sale argued that those trademarks were being infringed upon by a third party that continued selling products under the debtor's name (Sunbeam Products Inc. v. Chicago American Manufacturing LLC, No. 12-431, U.S. Sup.).

Judge Dismisses Claims Under Louisiana Liability Act In Benzene Injury Case

NEW ORLEANS - Having earlier excluded the opinions of a plaintiff's expert regarding concentrations of benzene in paints to which the plaintiff was exposed, as well as the duration of exposure, a Louisiana federal judge on Dec. 4 dismissed claims under the Louisiana Products Liability Act (LPLA) against the last remaining defendant (Craig Moore, et al. BASF Corporation, et al.,  No. 11-1001 E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171816). View a complimentary copy of the opinion in the pdf attached below.

Sodexo Executive's Retaliation Claim Survives Dismissal Attempt

HOUSTON - French multinational food services corporation Sodexo Inc. on Dec. 5 lost its bid to dismiss in a Texas federal court a claim by its former human resources director that the company retaliated against him for taking a medical leave due to work-related stress by firing him (Vince Goodwine v. Sodexo, Inc., et al.,   No. 12-1910, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172348).

Federal Circuit Affirms Rejection Of APA Challenge To Patent Validity

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge properly rejected a declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) of a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decision to issue three patents relating to air-filled packaging technology, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 6 (Pregis Corporation v. David J. Kappos and Free-Flow Packaging International Inc., Nos. 10-1492, 1532, Fed. Cir.).

Insurer Objects To New Page Reorganization Plan, Says Its Rights Not Protected

WILMINGTON, Del. - Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on Dec. 6 objecting to the reorganization plan filed by New Page Corp. on grounds that the plan does not adequately protect its interests (In Re: New Page Corporation, No. 11-12804, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

K-V Discovery Solutions Seeks Approval Of $60M Settlement With Hologic Inc.

NEW YORK - Bankrupt pharmaceutical company K-V Discovery Solutions Inc. on Dec. 5 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of a $60 million settlement with Hologic Inc. that would dispose of Hologic's claims, which are valued at $95 million (In Re: K-V Discovery Solutions Inc., No. 12-13346, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge OKs Vertis Asset Sale For $258.5M To Quad/Graphics

WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Vertis Holdings Inc. on Dec. 6 issued an order approving the sale of substantially all of the company's assets free and clear of all liens for $258.5 million (In Re: Vertis Holdings Inc., No. 12-12821, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Louisiana Majority Reverses $75,000 General Damages Award In Katrina Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court on Dec. 4 affirmed a determination that an insurance agency was negligent and that insureds were owed special damages but reversed the $75,000 general damages award in favor of the insureds (Kirk E. Prest, et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 2012-C-0513, La. Sup.; 2012 La. LEXIS 3278).

U.S. Trustee: $320M In Funds Not Subject To Waiver In Overseas Shipholding Case

WILMINGTON, Del. - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) on Dec. 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to OSG's request for a waiver of requirements under the Bankruptcy Code governing the deposit and investment of $320 million in estate funds (In Re: Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., No. 12-20000, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

FTC Says Chapter 11 Case Of Investment Scheme Operator Should Be Dismissed

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Federal Trade Commission on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California arguing that the Chapter 11 case of investment scheme operator John N. Beck II should be dismissed or converted because it was filed in bad faith (In Re: John N. Beck II, No. 12-47882, Chapter 11, N.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Rules Vitro Entities Liable, Can Be Forced Into Bankruptcy

DALLAS - A federal bankruptcy judge in Texas on Dec. 4 ruled that 10 affiliates of bankrupt Mexican glassmaker Vitro Asset Corp. could be forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy involuntarily because all affiliates of the company are jointly and severally liable for the debts created when the parent company defaulted (In Re: Vitro Asset Corp., No. 11-32600, Chapter 11, N.D. Texas Bkcy.).

Bank Settles Employees' Overtime Class Action For $3.5 Million

OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 3 approved a $3.5 million settlement of a class action alleging that a banking company improperly classified its trust administrators as being exempt from state and federal overtime laws. The judge, however, reduced the amount of fees to be paid under the settlement to the class' counsel (Lynn Odrick v. UnionBanCal Corporation, et al.,  No. 10-5565, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171413).

Disney Says It Has Rights To Patents Digital Domain Media Group Seeks To Sell

WILMINGTON, Del. - Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production on Dec. 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to bankrupt Digital Domain Media Group's (DDMG) motion seeking approval to sell assets and contracts free and clear of all liens, contending that Disney still has patent rights (In Re: DDMG Estate, No. 12-12568, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Shareholders Say Corporation Failed To Show That Directors Were Independent

BOSTON - Shareholders said in a Massachusetts federal court on Nov. 30 that a corporation's allegedly independent board improperly rejected a written demand the shareholders made on the board regarding an alleged fraud the corporation perpetrated on its clients (Operative Plasters' and Cement Masons' Local Union Officers' and Employees' Pension Fund v. Joseph L. Hooley, No. 12-cv-10767, D. Mass.).

7th Circuit Withdraws, Vacates Its Own Ruling On $312M Loan Fraud Lawsuit

CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 30 withdrew and vacated its own decision in which it had previously concluded that the liquidation trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of an investment management company failed to show that fraud had been committed in connection with a $312 million loan it obtained from the Bank of New York Mellon (In Re: Sentinel Management Group Inc., No. 11-1123, Chapter 11, 7th Cir.).

Trustee: Confidential Payment Would Settle Toshiba's Claims Against Circuit City

RICHMOND, Va. - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Circuit City Stores Inc. on Dec. 3 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia seeking an order under which Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. will make a confidential payment to the Circuit City Liquidating Trust to avoid litigation over disputed claims against the estate (In Re: Circuit City Stores Inc., No. 08-35653, Chapter 11, E.D. Va. Bkcy.).

Judge Approves Stipulation And Settlement Of Shareholder Derivative Suit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on Nov. 29 approved a settlement between a group of shareholders and directors and officers of a corporation that puts in place certain corporate governance measures (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy and Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds, et al. v. Stephen P. MacMillan, et al., No. 10-cv-00284, W.D. Mich.).

Bankrupt Elpida Seeks Sale Of Assets, Licenses To Speed Global Reorganization

WILMINGTON, Del. - The foreign representatives of bankrupt Japanese microchip manufacturer Elpida Memory Inc. on Dec. 3 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware arguing that the court should approve its motion to sell certain assets to speed the company's global reorganization process (In Re: Elpida Memory Inc., No. 12-10947, Chapter 15, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Judge: Expert's Opinion Regarding Benzene Exposure Is Speculative, Unreliable

NEW ORLEANS - The opinions of a plaintiff's expert regarding concentrations of benzene in paints to which the plaintiff was exposed, as well as the duration of exposure, are speculative and unreliable pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579, 590 [1993]), a Louisiana federal judge said in a Nov. 30 decision excluding the expert (Craig Moore, et al. BASF Corporation, et al.,  No. 11-1001 E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170411).

Shareholder Says Presuit Demand Upon Company's Board Would Have Been Futile

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A shareholder told a Florida federal court on Nov. 30 that presuit demand upon a company's board of directors would have been futile because a majority of the board is not disinterested because they face a substantial likelihood of liability because of certain alleged misinformation that the board made public (Todd Deehl, Derivatively on Behalf of Mako Surgical Corporation, v. Maurice R. Ferre, et al., No. 12-cv-61238, S.D. Fla.).

Federal Circuit Orders New Trial, Reverses Verdict Of Patent Anticipation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge's final judgment was reversed and vacated in part Nov. 30 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which took issue with a jury's verdict that a patented high-strength steel application is invalid as anticipated (ArcellorMittal France et al. v. AK Steel Corporation et al., No. 11-1638, Fed. Cir.).

Dewey & LeBoeuf Partners Can Be Sued For Firm's Collapse, Bankruptcy Judge Rules

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Nov. 29 gave the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors authority to prosecute three former partners in connection with the collapse of the firm, which led to its bankruptcy (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.

State Of Wisconsin: NewPage Chapter 11 Plan Obstructs Environmental Cleanup

WILMINGTON, Del. - The State of Wisconsin on Nov. 29 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware arguing that bankrupt NewPage Corp.'s Chapter 11 reorganization plan should not be confirmed because it would hinder the state's ability to enforce various environmental laws it alleges that the company has violated (In Re: NewPage Corporation, No. 11-12804, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Satcon Creditors Oppose Deal That Would Lead To Incurring Post-Petition Trade Debt

WILMINGTON, Del. - A group of secured creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of alternative energy company Satcon Technology Corp. (STC) on Nov. 27 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to the debtor's emergency motion seeking authorization to enter a settlement in which it would incur post-petition trade debt (In Re: Satcon Technology Corporation, No. 12-12869, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).