The Intersection Among Torts, Science, Corporate Law, Insurance & Bankruptcy

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Imerys Talc Chapter 11 Petition – Negotiations Underway for a Consensual Plan

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy

Interesting times ahead as Imerys filed a chapter 11 petition in an effort to try to manage the mesothelioma and ovarian cancer claims against it and other entities.  The petition and a related declaration list the top 30 plaintiff firms, which includes numerous plaintiff firms that are not “regulars” in chapter 11 asbestos cases, as… Continue Reading

Asbestos Plaintiffs Attack Bestwall Chapter 11 as “Bad Faith” Filing; Suggest GP Substituted Talc for Asbestos

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Asbestos Trusts, Litigation Industry

After months of procedural wrangling and negotiations about settlement, the asbestos plaintiff’s bar has now attacked the Bestwall/Georgia-Pacific chapter 11 as a “bad faith” filing. The motion is online. The motion sets out a broad attack. Among other things, the motion focuses attention on GP’s one-day use of a Texas statute to divide up the… Continue Reading

“Art Imitates Life: ‘Billions’ Describes Six-Figure, Part-Time Jobs On Asbestos Trusts”

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues

It seems to be a week for articles highlighting the more tawdry side of the plaintiff side in mass torts. In this instance, a new Forbes article (June 6, 2018)  by Daniel Fisher highlights a “sinecure” obtained by an asbestos trust trustee who appears not qualified for his role.  The article is insightful in some… Continue Reading

SCOTUS Cuts Back on Fraudulent Conveyance Defenses – LBOs Now More at Risk

Posted in Asbestos Bankruptcy, Fraudulent Conveyance, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues

Some circuit courts had issued fairly hard to fathom opinions immunizing some corporate  transactions from fraudulent conveyance claims if banks (and others) were involved in moving money as pass-through entities. The Seventh Circuit disagreed, and created a circuit split. SCOTUS has now blessed the Seventh Circuit’s reasoning. See Supreme Court Scales Back Safe Harbor Protection… Continue Reading

Mass Tort Missiles and Counter-Missiles – The GM Chapter 11 Asbestos Claim Example

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Litigation Industry

It’s interesting to watch the missiles and counter-missiles used by “repeat players” in “mass tort” litigation. A prime example arose in the asbestos personal injury claim portion of the General Motors chapter 11 case. There, GM (debtor) launched subpoenas seeking discovery of claimant-specific discovery from a wide set of asbestos trusts. As a counter-punch, the… Continue Reading

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