Discovery of under-the-table negotiations leads to a high- water mark ruling in asbestos coverage action.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ/ When it came time for domestic floor tile manufacturer Congoleum Corporation to pay its fair share of asbestos liabilities under New Jersey law, the company turned away from its insurers. Instead of working with its insurers, it secretly negotiated a pre-packaged 524(g) bankruptcy with counsel for the asbestos claimants, whereby it agreed to assign its insurance assets to an asbestos trust in exchange for the claimants’ supporting votes in the bankruptcy.
It was a nightmare scenario: the most expensive piece of art in the world damaged on the eve of its sale.
LAS VEGAS, NV/ “Le Rêve” is Pablo Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. Owned by billionaire casino magnate Steve Wynn, it was in the process of being sold for $139 million to hedge-fund mogul and avid art collector Steven Cohen. Days before the sale was to be finalized, Wynn was showing “Le Rêve” to a group of friends and celebrities. Standing next to the painting, he was describing its provenance and gesturing with his arm when he accidently put his elbow through it, creating a silver-dollar-size hole in the canvas.
COVID-19: How the Coronavirus Might Impact Professionals
New York, NY/ Much is still unknown about the novel Coronavirus and its potential impact on humanity, let alone the effects it will have on specific countries and industries. What is known is that it is significantly disrupting the global economy, especially the energy and travel sectors; it is causing entire countries to shut down movement within their borders; and causing schools and businesses to shut down, at least temporarily. Although there are no reports that courts are adjourning hearings or halting jury duty obligations, the federal judiciary's pandemic plan involves “'key mitigation tactics' such as more telework, substituting teleconferencing for face-to-face meetings, promoting three-foot separation between individuals and requiring personnel to stay at home at the first sign of symptoms." Similarly, IRS and other state treasury departments are advising that things are running as normal and do not expect any disruptions.
In asbestos and pollution claims litigation with more twists than a Gordian Knot, Mendes helps insurers untangle the legal mess.
BOSTON, MA/ Starting in the mid-1980’s, in courthouses across the U.S., W.R. Grace has had insurers tied up in asbestos and pollution claims litigation. The chemical and construction materials conglomerate—whose pollution problems have been well publicized in the book and movie “A Civil Action”—has spent hundreds of millions of dollars defending and settling these claims.