Hess collectors search dismissal of Virgin Islands chapter

Hess creditors seek dismissal of Virgin Islands bankruptcy

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  • Collectors say there’s “nothing to reorganize”
  • Chapter’s “sole goal” is to guard Hess from asbestos claims, collectors say

Sept 23 (Reuters) – The collectors of a bankrupt Hess Corp subsidiary have requested a U.S. decide to dismiss the corporate’s chapter case, saying it serves no goal aside from to guard Hess from lawsuits associated to asbestos publicity at a Virgin Islands oil refinery.

The collectors allege that Hess, a $37 billion vitality firm, is abusing U.S. chapter legal guidelines to dodge 900 claims stemming from asbestos contamination at a St. Croix refinery that it operated for many years, in response to a movement filed Thursday in Houston chapter courtroom.

Asbestos on the refinery brought on lung illness and most cancers, together with mesothelioma, in response to the official collectors committee within the chapter case.

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Hess subsidiary HONX filed for Chapter 11 safety in Houston on April 29, saying it meant to reap the benefits of the “respiratory spell” of a chapter case to achieve a good and environment friendly decision of asbestos claims towards Hess.

In Thursday’s submitting, the collectors committee stated HONX has no want for a “respiratory spell” as a result of it’s a mere “husk of an organization” that has been re-animated as a defend towards lawsuits. HONX’s predecessor firm ran the St. Croix refinery from 1965 to 1998, and the refinery has since been bought to new house owners not affiliated with Hess.

“There may be nothing right here to resuscitate,” the collectors wrote.

Hess stated Friday that HONX’s chapter provides the easiest way to achieve a “well timed and orderly” decision of all asbestos claims associated to the St. Croix refinery.

The collectors argue that the asbestos lawsuits must be allowed to proceed towards Hess exterior of chapter courtroom. Permitting litigation to proceed wouldn’t hurt HONX, which has no operations or belongings to disrupt, in response to the collectors.

Hess is “terrified” to face juries within the Virgin Islands, the place it has benefited from beneficiant tax breaks whereas inflicting “devastating” injury to St. Croix’s air high quality and water provide, the collectors wrote.

These fears grew particularly acute after the passage of a 2021 native regulation that expedited trials for claimants which can be aged or ill. Hess has by no means gone to trial in a Virgin Islands asbestos case, settling greater than 1,000 circumstances to this point, in response to the collectors.

The case is HONX Inc, U.S. Chapter Court docket for the Southern District of Texas, No. 22-90035.

For HONX: Christopher T. Greco, Matthew C. Fagen, Jaimie Fedell and Heidi Hockberger of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

For the collectors committee: Marty Brimmage and Arik Preis of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Associated hyperlinks

caribbean refinery decommissioning will take months -company

How a chapter ‘innovation’ halted hundreds of lawsuits from sick plaintiffs

buyers balk as bankrupt st. croix refinery wants $1 bln to be viable

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Reporting by Nimitt Dixit

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