January 2024

NJ among states seeking Supreme Court review of controversial bankruptcy tactic

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A bipartisan group of 25 attorneys general, including New Jersey’s Matthew Platkin, is urging the United States Supreme Court to stop well-off companies from using bankrupt shell companies to resolve lawsuits.

In a Jan. 22 amicus brief, the AGs asks for the reversal of a June 2023 ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed pulp-and-paper maker Georgia-Pacific to avoid litigating tens of thousands of asbestos lawsuits while the company’s subsidiary, Bestwall, remains in bankruptcy.

The 2-1 decision upheld a key element of a controversial legal tactic known as the Texas two-step, in which a corporation spins off liabilities into a newly created subsidiary and then files that unit for bankruptcy.

Georgia-Pacific, one of the world’s largest manufacturing firms, pioneered the strategy in 2017, which paused 64,000 lawsuits claiming the company’s plaster construction products contained cancer-causing asbestos.

In the brief, the AGs contend that Georgia-Pacific is abusing the U.S. bankruptcy system, using it to shield assets from people who have been harmed by preventing lawsuits from moving forward without subjecting the entire company to bankruptcy.

“Wealthy companies that engage in wrongdoing should not be able to get off the hook by cheating the

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Rudy Giuliani targets Donald Trump for ‘unpaid legal fees’ in new bankruptcy filing

Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani has listed a claim against the one-term president over unpaid legal fees in a new bankruptcy filing.

The ex-New York City mayor includes a “possible claim for unpaid legal fees against Donald J Trump.” in the 26 January filing, which states that the amount is “undetermined.”

Mr Giuliani filed for bankruptcy last month, days after a federal judge ordered him to “immediately” pay more than $148m to a pair of Georgia election workers a jury determined he defamed.

Mr Giuliani represented Mr Trump in a string of unsuccessful lawsuits contesting the results of the 2020 election that he lost to Joe Biden.

Mr Trump’s legal fees owed to Mr Giuliani have previously been reported. The New York Times wrote in August 2023 that “Mr Trump has never explicitly told Mr Giuliani why he is effectively stiffing him, but the former president has pointed out that he lost the cases related to the election.”

Rudy Giuliani speaks to members of the media on  21 January 2024 in Manchester, New Hampshire (Getty Images)

Rudy Giuliani speaks to members of the media on 21 January 2024 in Manchester, New Hampshire (Getty Images)

The newspaper reported that the former president told his aides that he didn’t want Mr Giuliani to receive “a dime” unless he

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Cardi B’s Lawyers Allege Tasha K Hid Offshore Accounts

Tasha K, Cardi B, lawsuit

New court documents caused attorneys to accuse the vlogger of allegedly failing to disclose secret accounts when she filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The legal feud between rapper Cardi B and YouTuber Tasha K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, escalated when new court documents revealed that the rappers attorneys are accusing the vlogger of hiding secret offshore accounts and allegedly failing to disclose them when she filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The internet personality cardi-b-defamation-verdict/” title=””filed bankruptcy back in May 2023 claiming she had less than $60,000 in assets, Billboard reported. But, according to documents tasha-k-secret-offshore-accounts-bankruptcy-battle/” title=””obtained by XXL magazine, Cardi’s lawyers claimed Tasha K and her husband, Cheickna Kebe, were not truthful about “the existence of offshore and domestic trusts” created for their benefit.

The “Money” rapper’s lawyers pointed out that in depositions, both Tasha K and her husband testified they did not have any savings accounts, IRAs, or trusts in their names or their children’s names. However, XXL added that Cardi’s attorneys say they have uncovered “multiple domestic and offshore trusts” that were allegedly never disclosed by Tasha K, including at least one trust where $30,000

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Pension tussle taking center stage in Yellow bankruptcy

Yellow Corp.’s bankruptcy case is progressing on several fronts—but not yet on the one with the biggest dollar amounts at play.

In recent weeks, Yellow attorneys exchanged filings with their peers at the Central States Pension Fund and the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware about how to resolve the question of the company’s remaining pension obligations. Yellow, which was the sixth-ranked carrier on the 2023 FleetOwner 500: For Hire list before it shut down in July, claimed in December that the PBGC’s early-2023 bailout of Central States meant the pension plan couldn’t then also claim billions from Yellow.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters-affiliated Central States asked Yellow last summer to cover nearly $5 billion in withdrawal liabilities (the company’s alleged share of unfunded benefits) and another $900 million in so-called participation guarantees. Yellow called those claims an attempt to collect “hundreds of millions of dollars in damages it has not sustained” and said pension officials were asking for “free money.”

Lawyers for Central States responded in early January not by directly addressing the legal merits of their claim but by saying that various federal courts have held that a dispute over pension

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From bankruptcy to millions: Ironworker injured at Downtown Jersey City high-rise project wins seven-figure judgment

An ironworker’s injury at a Downtown Jersey City high-rise construction project in 2017 left him unable to work. Living off a monthly $2,688 worker’s compensation check, he and his wife filed for bankruptcy two years later.

But Donald Hoiland’s financial outlook took a meteoric upturn when a Hudson County jury awarded him $5.3 million in compensatory damages, his attorney, Gerald Clark of the Clark Law Firm, said this week.

Hoiland was injured Nov. 2, 2017, at the 235 Grand St. construction site while working for the project’s general contractor, AJD Construction Co., according to court documents. Two years later Hoiland filed the lawsuit against AJD, the developer and other companies working on the $289 million project, dubbed 235 Grand, at the site of the former Hudson County Boys and Girls Club.

Hoiland and his wife filed for bankruptcy the same year. According to court documents, Hoiland had earned nearly $75,000 as an ironworker in 2017.

“We are pleased with the result obtained, which is rather modest given the trial proofs,” Clark said in a statement. “The insurance company and the lawyers they hired to represent the defendant fought us tooth and nail during the five years of this litigation

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