A frequent target of asbestos lawyers is seeking access to the ballots cast by holders of asbestos claims against one of the many companies forced into bankruptcy by the long-running litigation.
Honeywell International has interjected itself into the bankruptcy proceeding of the successors to Chicago Fire Brick and Wellsville Fire Brick, companies that spent a decade making a trust that would pay individuals with asbestos claims. On May 3, Honeywell questioned the federal bankruptcy court in Oakland, Calif., to make those ballots public.
Those holding claims against companies are questioned to vote on proposed bankruptcy plans. Objecting to Honeywell’s request is the trustee of CFB’s trust and the Pittsburgh asbestos firm Goldberg, Persky & White.
“This court’s local rules required the Plot Proponents to file ‘all ballots,’” Honeywell’s attorneys wrote. “Yet the Plot Proponents failed to do so and have refused to provide copies of the ballots to Honeywell.
“The Plot Proponents’ refusal is unwarranted not only in light of this Court’s local rules, but also because the ballots are matters of public record under Bankruptcy Code…”
CFB and WFB once made some products used in high-temperature furnaces that contained asbestos and filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2001. The company’s successors, CFB Liquidating Corp. and WFB Liquidating Corp., faced more than 20,000 asbestos claims and made a trust to pay them. As of October 2015, there were roughly 29,000 claims asserted against the trust.
Only a report that summarized the results of the voting by those who had claims against CFB was produced. Honeywell wants to see the individual ballots.
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