LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Bankruptcy Judge Approves $1.55 Billion Financing Deal For W.R. Grace

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 28 ruled that Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. can obtain up to $1.55 billion in financing from a dozen banks and financial institutions to support the company's operating needs as it emerges from bankruptcy (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy Judge Approves $1.55 Billion Financing Deal For W.R. Grace

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal bankruptcy judge on Jan. 28 ruled that Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. can obtain up to $1.55 billion in financing from a dozen banks and financial institutions to support the company's operating needs as it emerges from bankruptcy (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Argues For Disqualification Of Arbitration Panel

NEW YORK - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Jan. 27 that an entire reinsurance arbitration panel, in which one member had a medical emergency, should be disqualified instead of having the reinsurer assign a new party-appointed arbitrator (Companion Property And Casualty Insurance Company v. Allied Provident Insurance, Inc., No. 13-cv-07865, S.D. N.Y.).

RSM Seeks International Arbitration Over $26 Million Cash Call

LONDON - RSM Production Corp. on Jan. 21 announced that it has made an application to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for emergency measures to defend against an oil and gas entity's demand for a $26 million payment.

Union: Detroit Emergency Manager Lacks Power To 'Diminish' Retiree Benefits

DETROIT - The union representing the employees of the bankrupt City of Detroit on Jan. 20 filed a brief in the adversary proceeding filed by the Official Committee of Retirees of the City of Detroit against the city, arguing that the emergency manager put in charge of the city's bankruptcy lacks the authority to take any action to "diminish" retiree health insurance benefits (The Official Committee of Retirees of The City of Detroit v. The City of Detroit $(In Re: The City of Detroit$), Adv. No. 14-04015, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).

West Virginia Class Action Alleges Business Losses, Personal Injuries For 300,000

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The owners of two Charleston-area restaurants, along with a resident, filed a class action suit on Jan. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia to represent some 300,000 customers of a Charleston water utility who were placed under a declaration of emergency because of the release of a foaming agent used to clean coal (Shape Shop Inc., et al. v. Freedom Industries Inc., No. 14-1288, S.D. W.Va.).

Injunction Pending Appeal Granted After Judge Dismisses Birth Control Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 31 granted an emergency motion for injunction pending appeal in a nonprofit religious organization's case challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). By its own motion, the court consolidated the case with a similar case (Priests for Life, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 13-1261, D.C. Cir.).

6th Circuit: Act Gives City Power To Modify Contracts To Avoid Bankruptcy

CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 affirmed a district court ruling that the City of Flint, Mich., and its emergency manager did not violate the U.S. Constitution when it moved to modify health care benefits contracts with retired city employees because Michigan state law gave the city that power to avoid filing for bankruptcy (John Welch v. Michael Brown, No. 13-1476, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 131).

Government Opposes Supreme Court's Halt Of Birth Control Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government on Jan. 3 filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing an emergency injunction pending appellate review or, in the alternative, a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment and injunction pending resolution following a Dec. 31 order by Justice Sonia Sotomayor that temporarily blocked the federal government from enforcing the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) against an order of Catholic nuns at the request of the group after a lower court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the mandate (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13A691, U.S. Sup.).

W.R. Grace Gets Approval For $250 Million Payment To Qualified Settlement Fund

WILMINGTON, Del. - As part of its preparations to emerge from Chapter 11 protection in 2014 and to receive a tax break for 2013, W.R. Grace & Co. received authorization Dec. 17 from a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge to contribute up to $250 million to a qualified settlement fund for eventual distribution to an asbestos personal injury trust (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

U.S. High Court Denies Stay Of American Airlines Merger With US Airways

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Dec. 8 denied an emergency application by individual airline customers seeking to prevent the merger of bankrupt American Airlines Inc. and US Airways Group Inc. The customers had argued that the merger violates federal antitrust laws (Carolyn Fjord v. AMR Corporation, No.13A579, U.S. Sup.).

Bankruptcy Judge Approves DOJ, American Airlines Settlement Ending Merger Lawsuit

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Samsung Seeks Emergency Stay Of Deliberations In Patent Dispute With Apple

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 20 was asked to halt jury deliberations in the damages retrial between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., after Samsung filed an emergency motion to stay the case (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.).

Divided En Banc 7th Circuit: Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim Continues

CHICAGO - A divided en banc Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 7 ruled that the husband of a health plan participant may proceed with his claims that the plan sponsor and insurer breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to inform him during telephone conversations that the medical providers who were going to perform emergency surgery on his wife were out of network (James E. Killian v. Concert Health Plan, et al., No. 11-1112, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22657).

Magistrate Certifies Campo, Preemption Issues For Immediate Interlocutory Appeal

GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 4 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to certify for immediate interlocutory appeal the issues of whether Campo v. Allstate Insurance Co. (562 F.3d 751 [5th Cir. 2009]) should be reversed or has been superseded by a July 16, 2009, pronouncement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and whether federal law preempts all National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) procurement disputes (Robert Spong, et al. v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Ins. Co., et al., No. G-10-228, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157763).

Injured Worker To Receive No Benefits From Insolvency Pool, Appeals Panel Upholds

ATLANTA - An injured worker was not an "emergency claimant" entitled to workers' compensation benefits from the Georgia Insurers Insolvency Pool, a Georgia appeals panel affirmed Oct. 31 (Hugh Reece v. Georgia Insurers Insolvency Pool, No. A13A1409, Ga. App., 4th Div.; 2013 Ga. App. LEXIS 858).

N.M. Panel Reverses Judgment In Medical Malpractice Case; Expert Was Admissible

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Plaintiff expert testimony that an emergency room doctor breached the standard of care by not prescribing prophylactic antibiotics for a diabetic man's foot puncture was not scientific knowledge requiring application of the Daubert /Alberico admissibility standards, a New Mexico Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 21 (Richard and Blanca Quintana v. Steven Acosta, et al., No. 31,585, N.M. App.; 2013 N.M. App. LEXIS 111).

Washington Appeals Panel: Testimony Properly Handled In Medical Malpractice Case

SEATTLE - The Washington Court of Appeals on Oct. 14 upheld a jury's $122,000 award to the plaintiffs in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the trial court did not err by restricting an emergency room doctor's testimony regarding his professional conduct (Bernardo Figueroa, et al. v. Highline Medical Center, et al., No. 68272-5-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2459).

FEMA Did Not Waive Its Sovereign Immunity, Judge Rules In Flood Coverage Suit

DELTA, Miss. - An insured's argument that the Federal Emergency Management Agency essentially denied his claims through its selection of a flood-in-progress date is too weak to establish that FEMA waived its sovereign immunity, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Sept. 27, granting the agency's motion to dismiss the insured's claims against it (Alan McCaskill v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al., No. 2:12CV43-B-A c/w Nos. 2:12cv120-B-A, 2:12CV136-B-A, 2:12CV137-B-A and 2:12CV138-B-A, N.D. Miss.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139263).

White House: $311M Will Be Provided For Detroit To Assist Bankruptcy Recovery

WASHINGTON. D.C. - The White House announced Sept. 27 that it is providing more than $311 million to help the bankrupt City of Detroit through a combination of federal block grant programs as well as money from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and private foundations.

Lightsquared Seeks OK Of At Least $315,000 Payment For Special Committee Members

NEW YORK - Bankrupt technology company Lightsquared Inc. on Sept. 23 filed an emergency motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking at least $315,000 in compensation for three members of a special committee that has played "a significant role" in selling the company's assets and helping it restructure. The compensation could increase depending on how long Lightsquared determines the special committee is needed (In Re: Lightsquared Inc., No.12-12080, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Syncora: Depositions Of Key Detroit Managers Should Be Admitted Into Evidence

DETROIT - Syncora Guarantee Inc., the financial guarantee insurance provider, on Sept. 19 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for admission of the deposition testimony of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and attorney Kenneth Buckfire on grounds they both qualify as managing agents of the Chapter 9 bankruptcy of the City of Detroit (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).

Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of FEMA In Tropical Storm Coverage Dispute

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 12 entered judgment in favor of the Federal Emergency Management Agency one day after granting the federal agency's motion for summary judgment in a flood damage coverage dispute arising from a tropical storm (Peter G. Vicari, et al. v. FEMA, et al., No. 12-2192, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130235).

Bankrupt Versace Mansion Seeks Termination Of Lease To Allow Auction Of Property

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The bankrupt former mansion of designer Gianni Versace, Casa Casuarina LLC, on Sept. 9 filed an emergency motion to deem the lease on the property as terminated regarding its most recent tenant in order for an auction of the property to proceed (In Re: Casa Casuarina LLC, No. 13-25645, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).

Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of Woman's Battery Claims

BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho Supreme Court on Sept. 6 affirmed summary judgment for medical defendants in a case involving a woman's allegedly inappropriate treatment at an emergency room, agreeing that the plaintiff's expert affidavit was inadmissible (Heather Hall v. Rocky Mountain Emergency Physicians LLC, et al., No. 39473, Idaho Sup.; 2013 Ida. LEXIS 269).