What We’re Reading This Week

Talc claimants should have their appeal of a decision permitting J&J-subsidiary LTL Management to continue its Chapter 11 proceedings heard as soon as possible, according to the same bankruptcy judge that issued the decision. In February, Judge Michael Kaplan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New Jersey permitted the company to stay in Chapter 11,

Per Law360, a Delaware bankruptcy judge ruled that Art Van Furniture did not violate the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (“WARN”) Act, which requires large employers to provide least 60 days’ notice to workers before mass layoffs, when Art Van laid off 700 workers when COVID-19 shutdown orders were in effect. The

Bloomberg reports that Puerto Rico ended its five-year bankruptcy this week by restructuring $22 billion of debt. This was accomplished through a bond transaction in which certain investors exchanged their prepetition debt securities for new general obligations. The exchange reduced Puerto Rico’s funded debt to approximately $7 billion and dedicated $1.4 billion for public employees’

Reuters reports that Mahwah Bergen Retail Group – the former owner of the Ann Taylor retail clothing brand – obtained bankruptcy court approval of its revised reorganization plan, from which certain non-debtor releases were removed.  The revised plan comes after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that the non-debtor releases

According to Reuters, businesses are contending with increased costs as supply chain issues continue to disrupt the economy. Companies have struggled to keep up with demand for consumer goods, which soared during the pandemic. Costs include rising prices for raw materials due to halted factory production and backlogs of ships waiting to unload cargo

As reported by Bloomberg, hearings began on Monday to decide whether to dismiss Johnson & Johnson’s District of New Jersey bankruptcy case. Employing the so-called “Texas Two-Step” strategy, J&J used Texas law to create the subsidiary LTL Management to hold its talc-related liabilities. LTL then filed for bankruptcy, with a pledge from J&J to

Reuters reports that a district court judge has deferred to the bankruptcy court on whether Johnson & Johnson is entitled to the continuing protection of the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay from mass tort lawsuits that it would otherwise face relating to its talc products while its subsidiary, LTL Management, proceeds through bankruptcy.  A committee of

Recapping 2021, Bloomberg reported that last year saw the fewest annual bankruptcy filings in nearly four decades, falling 24% from 2020. A total of 3,596 chapter 11 cases were filed in 2021, about 3,000 fewer than the year before. The stimulus funds and easy access to liquidity combined with debt forbearance were pointed as the

On Tuesday, December 21, Bloomberg Economics reported that the latest strain of COVID-19, Omicron, is set to halve fourth quarter global economic growth. According to Bloomberg, the global economy is expanding at just 0.7% in the final three months, which is half the pace of the third quarter. The European economy is on pace for

Fox Business reports that Boy Scouts of America’s insurer Chubb Ltd. has pledged to contribute $800 million to the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy settlement deal. Boy Scouts of America, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2020, is currently on track to settle with approximately 82,500 tort claimants who claim they were sexually abused as children by troop leaders. The latest contribution by Chubb raises the total amount of available funds to resolve the claims to more than $2.7 billion. The fund is also backed by Boy Scouts of America’s primary insurer, the Hartford Financial Group, as well as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ultimately, Boy Scouts of America’s emergence from Chapter 11 hinges on a settlement with tort claimants, and, while several victims have voiced support for the settlement deal, a separate committee of claimants voiced concerns that the deal compromises too much in exchange for a quick exit. The abuse claimants have until December 28th to vote on the reorganization. [Fox Business; Dec. 13, 2021]

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