Asbestos Claimants Miss Supreme Court Deadline, Manville Says
DENVER (AP) _ Manville Corp. announced Friday that a group of asbestos claimants had not met a deadline for petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the company’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan.
That means just one appeal must be reviewed by the court before Manville can implement the plan.
″Obviously we’re pleased, because it means that we’re just one step closer to emerging from Chapter 11 and being able to operate as a normal company again,″ said Manville spokesman David Samson.
″It also means we’re just one step closer to the point where the (Personal Injury Settlement) Trust can be activated and asbestos health claimants can begin to be compensated,″ he said.
Manville filed for bankruptcy protection six years ago, on Aug. 26, 1982, when more than 400 asbestos-related lawsuits were being filed against the company each month.
A proposed reorganization plan was confirmed by the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in December 1986, but it cannot be consummated until all appeals are exhausted.
The plan created the personal injury trust as well as a Property Damage Trust to settle asbestos-related claims. It also devised a schedule for paying secured and unsecured creditors.
A group of about 700 asbestos health claimants had challenged parts of the plan that prevent payment of punitive damages to asbestos claimants and that require lawsuits for asbestos injuries to be filed against the Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust rather than Manville Corp., the company said.
The appeal was turned down by the New York bankruptcy court, U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. Manville officials said the group failed to petition the Supreme Court for a review of the plan by the deadline at midnight Thursday.
Earlier this summer, MacArthur Co. and Western MacArthur Co., a Minneapolis-based building materials distributor, petitioned the Supreme Court for a review of the bankruptcy court’s approval of more than $700 million in settlements negotiated between Manville and 29 insurance carriers.
The Supreme Court has not acted yet on MacArthur’s petition.