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Category Archives: Asbestos Bankruptcy

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Manville Trust Transparency – Data from David Austern

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Cancer
In the good old days, there was more asbestos trust transparency as to overall statistics for the Manville Trust. One reason for the transparency was presentations by David Austern at asbestos litigation conferences. As an example, consider this detailed set of data showing claims by disease for the “pre-1995 period” up through 2001.  The data… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Denies Cert for GM in the Ignition Switch Cases – Due Process in Bankruptcy Gets Rebooted to Some Degree

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Constitutional Law/Mass Tort Law, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues
Due process in bankruptcy has been rebooted to some degree. How? Through SCOTUS’ April 24, 2017 denial of GM’s cert petition from the Second Circuit’s ruling against GM in the intersection between GM’s chapter 11 proceedings and the ignition switch cases. GM’s cert petition had been supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the… Continue Reading

Swiss Create New Fund to Pay Compensation to Persons with Asbestos Related Diseases

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Trusts, International Asbestos, Litigation Industry
As reported by Laurie Kazan Allen at the IBAS web site and in other places, a new fund has been created in Switzerland to pay compensation to persons suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The Swiss Info channel reported the news in a December 19, 2016 online article. The following are excerpts from the article: “A CHF100… Continue Reading

Hartford Closes Out 2016 With $420+ Million Charge for More Asbestos Losses

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Insurance
As previously predicted by yours truly and other members of a multidisciplinary team, asbestos losses continue to rise for insurance companies. To start 2017, Hartford announced a $423 million charge to expand its coverage from NICO/Resolute.  Note that the price of the coverage is essentially 43 cents on the dollar. That’s notably more expensive than… Continue Reading

Reliving Part of the Manville Bankruptcy: Bogdan Law Firm v. Bevan & Assocs., LPA (In re Johns-Manville Corp.)

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Insurance
The Johns-Manville chapter 11. A debacle of expediency and short-term thinking from 1992-1998, and then later “do overs.” In one of its phases, there were multiple “direct actions” suits against Travelers, which was the primary primary insurer of Manville. According to some plaintiff lawyers, Manville and Travelers conspired to defraud many plaintiffs. As a result,… Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Continue to Probe the Limits of Bankruptcy Court Injunctions in Mass Tort Cases

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Insurance
Plaintiffs continue to probe the limits of bankruptcy court injunctions, an effort that is even more interesting while the Second Circuit’s GM decision makes it way up to SCOTUS. As to the probes, this week brought two new rulings in the WR Grace chapter 11 proceedings. One partially succeeded and one did not succeed at… Continue Reading

Asbestos in Buildings Litigation – The Final Installment for NYC

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry
Deja vu all over agains struck recently because asbestos-in-buildings litigation reared its head recently due to a New York Law Journal article of September 21, 2016. The article essentially repeated a September 19, 2016 press release from the NYC Law Department.   The press release states: “LAW DEPARTMENT RECOVERS $136 MILLION IN DAMAGES FOR ASBESTOS ABATEMENT Final… Continue Reading

“Where Are They Now, Part Eight: An Update On Developments In Asbestos-Related Bankruptcy Cases”

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry
It’s hard to believe, but now out is:  Where Are They Now, Part Eight: An Update On Developments In Asbestos-Related Bankruptcy Cases.  It’s the “got to” definitive list for the status of and outcomes of asbestos bankruptcy cases. The asbestos trust train just keeps rolling. As before, it was published first by Bryan Redding and other… Continue Reading

New GM Seeking Further Hearings on 2d Circuit’s Due Process Ruling

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Constitutional Law/Mass Tort Law, Due Process, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues
Not surprisingly, GM has now publicly asserted it will try every appellate option to try to change the 2d Circuit’s ruling that enforced the rights of claimants to a due process hearing  before being deprived of state law rights against manufacturers of purportedly defective products.  GM’s intentions are described in a July 27, 2016 story… Continue Reading

When Will the Chamber of Commerce Point Out That Bankruptcy Courts are Judicial Hellholes? There Are Limits to Bankruptcy Code Section 105

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry
Why have bankruptcy courts escaped being labeled as “judicial hellholes” for distorting tort law rules?  The question has been around for years, but the Second Circuit’s GM opinion last week provides a recent catalyst to re-ask the question due to its dissection of the nonsensical notion that actual or potential tort claims could be taken… Continue Reading

Average Mesothelioma Financial Recoveries? “Looking Further Behind The Curtain: Examples of Mesothelioma Claim Stories Derived from a Limited Dataset from the Garlock Chapter 11 Case, and Some Resulting Questions”

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Cancer
One hears plenty of assertions about “average” or “typical” recoveries in mesothelioma cases, but one always has to wonder about the validity of the numbers. Some of the assertions are based on a dataset of 845 mesothelioma cases; the set was created from discovery in the Garlock chapter 11 case.   For various reasons, I… Continue Reading

Mass Tort Bankruptcies Face a New Challenge: Citing Due Process Problems, 2d Circuit Overturns “Free and Clear” Asset Sale Terms for GM Bankruptcy

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues
In a major ruling issued yesterday, the 2d Circuit overturned portion of the the “free and clear” asset sale order entered for GM by Judge Gerber. The cite is Elliott v. GM LLC (In re Motors Liquidation Co.), 829 F.3d 135 (2d Cir. 2016). The opinion is important for multiple reasons, including its ruling and rationale… Continue Reading

API Trust Yet Again Blows Out the Veil of Bankruptcy Trust Secrecy With Its Annual Report Listing Claimants by Name, Disease and Amount Paid

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry
Tis the season for annual “reports”  by asbestos trusts created through chapter 11 cases. Most reports today are farcically small and useless, consisting mainly of financial statements without little or no detail about past payments and projected future payments. But, the API Trust recently (June 15) filed its annual report  for 2015.  Once again the… Continue Reading

GM Oral Arguments Suggest More to Come on When Bankruptcy Courts Can Cut Off Product Liability Claims Against Successor Entities

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues
It appears more will soon be written on when, if ever, bankruptcy courts can cut off product liability claims against successor entities. That inference arises from news stories regarding the questions posed by Second Circuit judges during oral argument yesterday of some of the GM ignition switch cases. See LAW360 (here) (paywall) and Business Insurance… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Takes on Some Aspects of Fraudulent Conveyance and Bankruptcy

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Fraudulent Conveyance, Litigation Industry
Fraudulent conveyances often are related to existing or impending insolvency, and so of course alleged fraudulent conveyances are often litigated in bankruptcy cases. It is therefore interesting to see SCOTUS take up yet another bankruptcy case, with this one revolving around the meaning of words (“actual fraud” that will define the extent to which a… Continue Reading

Kudos to Legal Newsline on Obtaining and Putting Online Much of the Garlock Trial Record, and Link to the Records

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry
Some catch up on an item that kept getting pushed back. The point is to extend kudos to Legal Newsline for pressing for and obtaining the records from the Garlock trial; see the story pasted below.  More kudos also are due for putting the records online (in conjunction with efforts by others). Many of the Garlock… Continue Reading

Personal Injury Class Actions, Mass Tort Bankruptcies, and Evolving Science: NFL Concussion Arguments this Week Highlight Conflicts of Interest Between Current and Future Claimants

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Cancer, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues, Policy Issues
One of the struggles in mass tort litigation arises from the economic conflicts of interest between current and future claimants. The issues can arise in multiple places: class actions, mass tort bankruptcies (which are de facto class actions), and current claims seeking punitive damages that realistically could exhaust the assets of defendants that lack deep… Continue Reading

Finally, Equitable Mootness May Be Dead, At Least in the Third Circuit?

Posted in Asbestos Bankruptcy, Constitutional Law/Mass Tort Law, Due Process, GM Bk
Hurray, equitable mootness appears to be dead, at least in the 3rd Circuit. What is it? In short form, it’s a (nonsensical) rationale for denial of the opportunity to appeal bankruptcy court decisions. Is it in the bankruptcy code? No. Then why does it exist? Because bankruptcy lawyers invented an outcome liked by some, and… Continue Reading

Shameless Self Promotion for “New Science and Law in Asbestos Litigation: A Multi-Disciplinary Look at Change and Future Directions”

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Comparative Law, Litigation Industry, Science
Readers of the blog know my view that science matters for toxic tort litigation, and have seen many posts here about aspects of the ongoing revolution in molecular biology. Through some serendipity, I met some people from other disciplines (actuarial work, financial analysis, and PhDs in biologic sciences) who also are very interested in science… Continue Reading