Porter v. Nabors Drilling USA, L.P.

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In a lawsuit asserting a claim under California’s Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA), the court grants defendant’s motion to recognize an automatic stay, triggered by its filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, where the exception to an automatic stay established in 11 U.S.C section 362(b)(4), described as the governmental regulatory or governmental unit exception, did not apply to a claim brought by a private party under PAGA.

In re Tronox Inc.

(United States Second Circuit) – In an appeal of a district court order enforcing a permanent anti‐suit injunction issued after a bankruptcy settlement, involving the toxic tort claims of than 4,300 individuals who allege significant injuries from the operation of a wood‐treatment plant in Avoca, Pennsylvania between 1956 and 1996, the appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where the claims are barred by the injunction because they are generalized ‘derivative’ claims that fall within the property of the bankruptcy estate.

Mastan v. Salamon

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In a Chapter 11 case, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s decision affirming the bankruptcy court’s order disallowing a claim is affirmed where under 11 U.S.C. section 1111(b), those who hold non-recourse liens on real property are granted recourse against the bankruptcy estate upon the filing of the bankruptcy petition.

Brown Media Corporation v. K&L Gates, LLP

(United States Second Circuit) – In an action asserting claims for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference, and common law fraud against a law firm and two of its former partners, brought by unsuccessful bidders in a bankruptcy proceeding, alleging that defendants used their prior representation of the plaintiffs to undermine the plaintiffs’ attempt to acquire assets in a bankruptcy sale, the district court’s dismissal of the complaint on res judicata grounds is reversed where plaintiffs could not have brought their claims during the bankruptcy proceedings, and this present action will not disturb the orders of the bankruptcy court.

In Re: Lansaw

(United States Third Circuit) – In a case arising out of the repeated violations of bankruptcy’s automatic stay of debt collection activities, 11 U.S.C. section 362(a), committed by debtors’ landlord, the district court’s judgment in favor of debtors and award of damages is section 362(k)(1) are affirmed where:1) section 362(k)(1) authorizes the award of emotional-distress damages and the debtors presented sufficient evidence to support such an award; and 2) debtors were properly awarded punitive damages.

PNC v. Sturba

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In a creditor’s claim was based on a promissory note on real property in California. The claim would be barred by a four-year California statute of limitations but not by a six-year Ohio statute of limitations, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s reversal of the bankruptcy court’s ruling that a creditor’s claim was timely is reversed where: 1) under federal common law, the contractual choice-of-law provision did not expressly include the statute of limitations and therefore was silent on the issue; 2) under section 142 of the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws, the statute of limitations of the forum state, California, would generally apply; and 3) exceptional circumstances, however, directed the application of the Ohio statute of limitations because the unique strictures of the Bankruptcy Code meant that, through no fault of the creditor, the only forum for its claim was the Northern District of California.

Lex Claims, LLC v. Padilla

(United States First Circuit) – In a second set of bankruptcy appeals involving the automatic stay provision of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), 48 U.S.C. sections 2101-2241, which employs language very similar to that of the bankruptcy stay statute, the district court’s decision that four claims included in the plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint are not within the scope of PROMESA’s temporary stay is reversed where it erred in this determination.