Mealey's Asbestos Bankruptcy

  • July 19, 2024

    Judge Rejects Preemption, Strict Liability Arguments After $8M Asbestos Verdict

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Federal law preempting regulations on railway operations does not cover strict liability claims stemming from the accumulation of asbestos and asbestos-tainted vermiculite at a Libby, Mont., railway, a federal judge in Montana said in denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV).

  • July 19, 2024

    California Anti-SLAPP Statute Dooms RICO Asbestos Action, Law Firm Defendants Say

    CHICAGO — Common contacts in California means that state’s anti-SLAPP statute governs a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit filed in Illinois federal claiming that a law firm fabricated asbestos claims and because the action targets protected conduct, the entire suit must be dismissed, Simmons Hanley Conroy LLP say in a motion to strike.

  • July 19, 2024

    Judge Delays Case Against Asbestos Trust Citing Pending Motion To Stay

    MISSOULA, Mont. — The federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against the WRG Asbestos PI Trust said July 18 that in light of the trust’s pending motion to stay the case until resolution of a declaratory judgment action filed with the bankruptcy court, he would continue an upcoming pretrial conference.

  • July 19, 2024

    Talc MDL Special Master Denies Litigation Funding Discovery Request

    TRENTON, N.J. — Questions surrounding litigation funding in the asbestos-talc federal multidistrict litigation don’t go to the claims or defenses before the court, and ordering discovery simply because plaintiffs refuse to settle would open the floodgates to such requests, a federal special master said, quashing subpoenas.

  • July 18, 2024

    J&J, Bankrupt Talc Miners Resolve Indemnification Dispute With $500M Settlement

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Various Johnson & Johnson entities will pay more than $500 million to two bankrupt talc-mining companies, resolving questions surrounding indemnification for asbestos and other talc-related liabilities and paving the way for resolution of the bankruptcy plans, according to a joint motion for approval.

  • July 18, 2024

    Former Nash Directors’ Motion To Dismiss Chapter 7 Trustee’s Breach Action Denied

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Rejecting arguments that some claims are time-barred because the Chapter 7 trustee for asbestos debtor The Nash Engineering Co. failed to adequately plead his tolling theory of fraudulent concealment and has neither established the existence of a fiduciary relationship nor rebutted the business judgment rule, a federal judge in Connecticut denied three former Nash directors’ motion to dismiss the trustee’s breach of fiduciary duty suit against them.

  • July 17, 2024

    Nash Chapter 7 Trustee’s Fraudulent Transfer Action Mostly Survives Dismissal

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Although dismissing two fraudulent transfer claims under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as time-barred, a federal judge in Connecticut has allowed the remainder of the Chapter 7 trustee for asbestos debtor The Nash Engineering Co.’s adversary proceeding seeking the return of more than $59 million from a holding company and its members to the debtor’s estate to proceed.

  • July 15, 2024

    Cosmetics Company Ben Nye Seeks Confirmation Of Reorganization Plan

    LOS ANGELES — A cosmetics company founded by an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie studio makeup director that was forced into bankruptcy by asbestos talc claims seeks approval in California federal bankruptcy court of a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization that proposes paying $203,165 in disposable income to unsecured creditors, including asbestos claimants.

  • July 15, 2024

    3rd Circuit Will Hear Appeals Of Talc Chapter 11 Case Dismissal Denial Together

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has consolidated appeals filed by asbestos claimants and the receiver for defunct talc supplier Whittaker, Clark & Daniels Inc. (WCD) of a New Jersey federal judge’s denial of the receiver’s bid to dismiss the company’s Chapter 11 case.

  • July 11, 2024

    Bankrupt Cosmetics Company Agrees To Discovery Requests By Asbestos Claimants

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal bankruptcy judge approved a stipulation under which Chapter 11 debtor Ben Nye Co. Inc. and the company’s financial advisers will produce documents about the debtor’s financial affairs, the use of talc in its products and other topics to five asbestos personal injury law firms and their clients.

  • July 09, 2024

    Asbestos Lab Analyst’s Work With Longo Requires Deposition, Talc Company Says

    ATLANTA — A lab analyst isn’t an “innocent bystander” but the person who actually peers into the microscope, makes observations about whether talc contains asbestos and collaborates closely with testifying witness William Longo in asbestos litigation, a talc company told a federal judge in Georgia in response to an objection to a magistrate judge’s ruling permitting the man’s deposition.

  • July 09, 2024

    N.Y. Justice: Moline, Hospital Don’t Have To Disclose Asbestos Study Subjects

    NEW YORK — Asbestos expert Jacqueline Moline and her employer obscured the names of individuals used on two of her studies on talc as required by law, and various Johnson & Johnson entities have not shown that they cannot challenge her opinions or adequately defend themselves absent the identity of those individuals, a New York justice said in granting a motion to quash and denying a motion to compel.

  • July 08, 2024

    Judge: Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Block ‘Hypothetical’ J&J Asbestos Bankruptcy

    TRENTON, N.J. — Class action plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey that they would appeal his ruling denying a restraining order and finding that alleged injuries from a hypothetical future asbestos-talc bankruptcy and other potential conduct do not provide standing to enjoin the filing of such a case.

  • July 01, 2024

    J&J Affiliate’s Fraud Claims Against Author Of Asbestos Talc Study Dismissed

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on June 28 granted a motion by the author of an asbestos talc study to dismiss a trade libel and fraud complaint filed by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) spinoff LTL Management LLC after finding that the statements made by the author in an article in a medical journal about the presence of asbestos in J&J talcum powder are “scientific conclusions that are ‘more closely akin’ to nonactionable matters of opinion” rather than “actionable false representations of fact.”

  • June 27, 2024

    Judge Denies Directed Verdict On Negligence Claims Against Libby, Mont., Railway

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Libby, Mont., plaintiffs made a prima facie showing that a railway failed to exercise proper care in the handling of asbestos around its railyard, causing it to contaminate surrounding areas, a federal judge in Montana said June 26 in denying a directed verdict after an $8 million verdict.

  • June 26, 2024

    2 Stipulated Dismissals Granted In Insurer’s Suit Over Asbestos Liabilities Row

    OMAHA, Neb. — Two defendants referred to as reinsurers in a suit National Indemnity Co. (NICO) filed over a $157.2 million settlement it reached with Montana regarding alleged asbestos exposures have been dismissed with prejudice under a joint stipulation that a Nebraska federal judge granted June 24.

  • June 25, 2024

    4th Circuit Briefing Extended For Georgia-Pacific Asbestos Debtor, Committee

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has given the parties in an appeal by the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants of a bankruptcy court’s denial of its bid to dismiss the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC more time to file their appeal briefs after granting the committee’s request to certify a direct appeal.

  • June 25, 2024

    Judge Says Removal Timely In Asbestos Coverage Suit Against Guaranty Association

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on June 24 denied a motion to remand filed by a man’s family members who sued numerous parties, including the Louisiana Guaranty Association (LIGA) as the purported statutory obligor for a now-insolvent insurer, alleging that the man’s death from mesothelioma resulted from his workplace asbestos exposure, finding that removal of the case to federal court was both permissible and timely.

  • June 21, 2024

    Louisiana Court Affirms Jury’s $2.75M Asbestos Awards To Daughters

    NEW ORLEANS — Recent Louisiana Supreme Court precedent requiring some objective measure when awarding surviving children damages does not alter the conclusion that trial evidence of the “devastating effects” two daughters experienced from their father’s death from mesothelioma supports a jury’s award of $2.75 million to each, a Louisiana appeals court said.

  • June 21, 2024

    Jackson Walker Says Trustee’s Request To Return Fees Not Supported By Law

    HOUSTON — The U.S. trustee’s bid to have a Texas law firm return more than $400,000 in fees it was awarded for work on mediation in the asbestos bankruptcy case of Hess Corp. affiliate HONX Inc. due to a romantic relationship between one of its attorneys and the bankruptcy judge who acted as mediator should be rejected because it “it inequitably and improperly targets” the law firm, which did nothing wrong, the firm says in a response brief in a federal bankruptcy court.

  • June 20, 2024

    J&J Says Talc Plaintiffs Lack Power, Precedent To Block Bankruptcy

    TRENTON, N.J. —Talc plaintiffs waited too long to raise meritless claims of allegedly fraudulent corporate restructurings and lack the power to ask a district court to prevent a bankruptcy filing, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and related entities tell a federal court in New Jersey in opposing injunctive relief.

  • June 19, 2024

    California High Court Reverses, Says Vertical Exhaustion Applies To Policies

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court reversed an appeals court’s ruling in a long-running asbestos insurance coverage dispute after determining that a vertical exhaustion method, rather than a horizontal exhaustion method, must be applied to excess policies that sit over an insured’s primary policies because the language of the excess policies and the insured’s reasonable expectations support a vertical exhaustion method.

  • June 18, 2024

    In Latest Suit, Women Seek Medical Monitoring Over Johnson & Johnson Talc

    TRENTON, N.J. — Women filed a putative class action in a New Jersey federal court against various Johnson & Johnson (J&J) entities on June 17 alleging fraud and misrepresentation among other claims and seeking medical monitoring for all women who used talc-based products on their genital area over a four-year period starting in 1960 and have not yet filed suit against the companies.

  • June 18, 2024

    J&J Seeks Delay In Judgment, $1.95M In Monthly Interest In Asbestos-Talc Case

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and a subsidiary told a judge in Oregon that its posttrial motions in the wake of a $260 million asbestos-talc jury verdict will bring to light the “persistent misconduct” that led to the verdict and asked for a stay of the judgment and resulting $1.95 million per month in interest while the court resolves the motions. VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.

  • June 14, 2024

    J&J Can Depose Asbestos Expert Longo’s Employee, Special Master Says

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson entities may depose the lab employee who performed the testing on which expert William Longo relies, the special master in New Jersey involved in the federal multidistrict litigation involving asbestos-talc claims said.