Cases & Deals

Kaiser Gypsum and Hanson Permanente argue before U.S. Supreme Court that insurer without legal interest in bankruptcy estate lacks right to challenge reorganization plan

Client(s) Hanson Permanente Cement, Inc. and Kaiser Gypsum Company

On behalf of the Kaiser Gypsum Company and Hanson Permanente Cement, Jones Day urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Fourth Circuit decision making clear that an insurer lacks the right to challenge a reorganization plan that leaves its legal rights in the same place as they were before the bankruptcy.

Kaiser Gypsum and Hanson Permanente are subsidiaries of Heidelberg Materials, one of the world's largest manufacturers of building materials. Under their joint plan of reorganization, the companies resolved substantial asbestos-related liabilities through the creation of a trust. The plan was unanimously supported by the asbestos claimants, recommended by the bankruptcy court, and approved by the district court. The Fourth Circuit affirmed, agreeing with Jones Day that one of the companies' insurers lacked the right to challenge the plan. As the court explained, the plan "in no way alters" the insurer's "decades-old" contractual rights and obligations. And while the plan did not make the insurer better off, that "provides no basis" to challenge the plan under the Bankruptcy Code.

Jones Day is defending the Fourth Circuit's judgment in the Supreme Court.

Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc., No. 22-1079 (U.S.); No. 21-1858, (4th Cir.)