COVID-19: The Benefits to Tort Victims of US Chapter 11

April 7, 2020

COVID-19: The Benefits to Tort Victims of US Chapter 11 Relief in a Time of Economic Crisis Part I of III

The impact of COVID-19 is still uncertain, but what is clear is that the global outbreak of this virus has caused, and will continue to cause, serious business setbacks of all kinds from quarantine orders, business closures, and social distancing, all while we’re waiting for flattening the curve of the pandemic. A pronounced, dramatic economic downturn is predicted as the pandemic touches all businesses, regardless of geography or industry.

 

To the mass tort practitioner, it is important to take note that planning for this future could lead to successful outcomes to victims you represent. If you engage in litigation or are planning litigation against a company that has challenges in paying its ongoing business costs, in addition to keeping available limits of insurance necessary to meet settlement and fund verdicts for mass tort victims, you should consider consulting with us.

 

While the US economy continued to grow over the last several years, companies took out significant, historically high levels of debt. Therefore, the pandemic may be the tipping point for companies that otherwise would have survived the normal ebb and flow of profits and economic hardship.

 

This article is intended to help trial lawyers better understand how valuable a Chapter 11 tool is during a time of crisis and how to successfully use a Chapter 11 reorganization. You must become proficient in the U.S. Bankruptcy code to effectively and economically manage mass tort claims in the bankruptcy process.

 

While very few trial lawyers think of the bankruptcy court as a place to plan for success, many firms who have engaged in the practice, from GM ignition switch, Takata airbags, PG&E fire claims, New England Compounding tort claims, and a host of others that went before, know that in the hands of the right counsel, it can become an effective and economical way to resolve claims for significant value, including full or made-whole value.

 

The Benefits of a Chapter 11 Reorganization

The benefits of a Chapter 11 reorganization are many. If you’re engaged in litigation against the company that files under section 362 of the bankruptcy code, the automatic stay is in effect after filing the petition, so it may stop trials and expensive discovery. It also freezes the assets effectively to preserve them for creditors, including tort victims who can be the single largest creditor group in a mass tort against a company. This was the case in the recent PG&E case, where a $13.5 billion plan is pending confirmation for fire victims, as well as many others.

 

The Official Committee

The application process requires documentation of the claim and an interview by the United States trustees’ office. Experienced counsel are often selected to serve based on their success in completing Chapter 11 bankruptcies and understanding the roles necessary to conclude a case with confirmation of a plan. You may want to consider applying for a seat on an official committee for your client. We will be covering this complicated and interesting process in part II of this series.

 

Necessary Preparation in Advance of a Chapter 11 Filing

Andrews & Thornton has the skill set and is available for consulting with firms that have concerns that companies they are either engaged in litigation with or about to engage in litigation may have limited resources to pay their debt and tort claims from insurance and assets. What we suggest is you reach out to us in advance of the filing, as many things can be done to “set the table” for victims of mass tort by engaging with the debtors’ counsel. We have relationships with most of the larger firms who have represented the biggest corporations in mass tort bankruptcies. We are ready to assist those reading this newsletter to consult on how you might organize in order to be successful.

 

The future of mass tort may well rest on the success we can bring within the bankruptcy context. Only the most experienced law firms have navigated these waters as many times as Andrews & Thornton has. Contact us for a consultation if you need us to review the facts and plan a strategy with you.

 

Be safe, and stay healthy.

 

ANDREWS & THORNTON
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) INFORMATION

 

The Paycheck Protection Program(“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:  The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made

 

The link below is to the online automated application for SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

They will assist you in complying with all of the requirements to obtain this loan at no cost to you.

In order to streamline the process for you, please complete the form below and SBA will create a draft of the application on your behalf through DocuSign.

Here is the process:
1. Click on link and fill out an application
2. You’ll then receive an automated email with a Docusign application for signature
3. Within 24 hours, you’ll receive an automated email with a link to upload the appropriate documents
4. You’ll then receive an automated email notifying you that your application is in review

5. Your file is then sent to the bank for closing of the loan

 

If you want to read more about this program by the US treasury please click below.

 

Sign Up Now ›
FDA calls for heartburn drug Zantac to be pulled from market immediately
The FDA noted that an ongoing investigation has determined that levels of a contaminant in the heartburn medications increase over time and when stored at higher-than-normal temperatures, pose a risk to public health.

The contaminant, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, is a probable human carcinogen and the FDA has been investigating levels of it in ranitidine since the summer of 2019. Article Here

Zantac or Ranitidine first came out in 1981 and by 1987 it was the most prescribed drug in the world for decreasing stomach acid production. Fast forward almost 40 years later and we find out that Zantac should really not be exposed to heat. When exposed to heat in the body, the chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, a probable human carcinogen is created.

In the almost 40 years on the market, no warning was ever given on this and we could be talking about a whole lot of people exposed and at risk. In 2016 there where more than 15 million Americans with a prescription to Zantac (not counting the people that got it over the counter.)

The cancers that could be tied to Zantac are: Bladder Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Small Intestine Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Kidney Cancer

We have been finding clients for this tort for the last few months and we have setup attorneys if you are interested in ref. the cases out. We are seeing case costs currently running backing into $1000-1200 per cancer case. You can see our statistics on this tort here

FREE Video Training from X Social Media Now Available
For the next few months, we are opening up our paid X Social Academy to our friends and clients for FREE!
You can get started on the simple 12-video course by clicking here. 
Please let us know if you have any questions and feel free to share!

In today’s challenging market, client experience is more important than ever.

Potential new clients have a deluge of information and more options at their fingertips than at any time in the past. It’s no longer enough for law firms to provide good service—they must provide a great experience. And there’s no better place to start than at the beginning.

That’s why Filevine has recently acquired Lead Docket, the top lead intake management solution for law firms.

Like Filevine, Lead Docket was founded by lawyers who wanted real solutions to their problems. Like Filevine, they are experiencing rapid growth as savvy firms are realizing the benefits from adopting their products. And most importantly, like Filevine, Lead Docket is committed to radically improving the practice of law, making it better for lawyers, staff, and clients alike.

Lead Docket will continue to operate as a stand-alone product available to customers of any case management system. Over time, Filevine will integrate Lead Docket’s technology into their core platform as an integrated product. – Ryan Anderson, Filevine CEO and Co-Founder.

Congrats to both Eric, Ryan, and the rest of the Filevine and Lead Docket teams! You can read the full announcement here.
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In 2018 we wrote a book on how to use Facebook and Instagram to help generate cases for law firms. The Facebook Effect For Lawyers which is now available on Amazon.

 

We are a full-service digital advertising agency that spent over $50 million in Facebook advertising alone in 2019. We have in-house Developers, Designers, Ad specialists, and Directors of Marketing & Strategy ready to run your campaign as efficiently as possible while generating as many leads as possible.We are a true extension of your team and practice true transparency in everything we do.

We have a trusted network of friends in the Mass Torts Industry and can help you with introductions to Tier 1 attorneys for case referrals. We also have the latest information about a lot of new projects that are running with very few firms involved.

 

We would love to take over as your true digital experts, it’s 2020 and you deserve the best digital marketing agency this year. So take the first step and reach out to us via phone 888-670-0006 or email at: jacob@xsocialmedia.com so you can see the difference in performance for yourself.
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