Articles Posted in Bankruptcy

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Vicksburg Chemical Company (VCC) filed for bankruptcy in 2002. Included in its bankruptcy estate was over 500 acres of real property, a portion of which was contaminated. Pursuant to an agreed order, the bankruptcy court allowed VCC to abandon the property and allowed the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to choose the purchaser. Without the aid of any guidelines or statutory law regarding this process, MDEQ, at the suggestion of the Attorney General's Office (AG), published a Request for Proposals (RFP) to identify interested parties capable of removing the contamination. The plaintiff, Pacific Chlorine, Inc. (PCI), was one of several companies to submit a proposal. MDEQ did not select PCI's proposal, but instead selected Harcros Chemicals, Inc. (Harcros), a company which worked closely with the City of Vicksburg (the City) on its proposal. Aggrieved, PCI sued MDEQ and the City. PCI settled with the City. Following a bench trial, the trial court rendered a judgment against MDEQ. MDEQ appealed to the Supreme Court, raising six assignments of error that fall into three categories: whether PCI is required to exhaust its administrative remedies, whether the trial court erred by denying MDEQ's motion to dismiss/motion for summary judgment, and whether MDEQ is immune from suit under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act (MTCA). This case presented an issue of first impression, the issue being whether MDEQ acted within the scope of its authority when assisting a bankruptcy court with finding a purchaser for contaminated land. The Court found that it was. View "Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality v. Pacific Chlorine, Inc." on Justia Law

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Dr. Carroll Meador filed a complaint against Mississippi Baptist Health Systems, Inc. (MBHS), Trustmark National Bank (Trustmark), and Doe Defendants 1 through 10, for breach of fiduciary duties, interference with fiduciary duties, interference with contract rights, interference with prospective business advantage, intentional infliction of emotional distress, deceit, fraud, and retaliatory discharge. The complaint stemmed from the doctor's employment with MBHS and a large line of credit he obtained from Trustmark. A dispute between the parties ended with the bank suing the doctor for defaulting on the loan, and the doctor declaring bankruptcy. Several defendants sought to remove the case to the federal district court. The district court granted remand of the case, finding the federal bankruptcy proceedings in the case had been concluded and only state claims remained. Then Defendants Trustmark, MBHS and several codefendants filed a motion for summary judgment and motion to dismiss. The doctor appealed the ultimate outcome of the trial court's decision in favor of Defendants. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to strike portions of the doctor's affidavit, and in denying Trustmark and MBHS' motions for summary judgment. The Court reversed the trial court's decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Trustmark National Bank v. Meador" on Justia Law

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Charles Phillips and RJK Investments, LLC, appealed a circuit court's order dismissing with prejudice all of its claims pursuant to a compromise and settlement order entered in the United States Bankruptcy Court. Phillips, through RJK, owned and managed a restaurant franchise. After a fire damaged the restaurant, Defendants Joey Kelley and other creditors attempted to seize control of the remaining assets. Phillips and RJK sued the creditors on multiple grounds. While this case was pending, Phillips individually filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court's order plainly directed the trustee to execute an Order of Dismissal as to all claims in this action. The order released the defendants from any further responsibility and liability, which necessarily would include any claims of RJK. Accordingly, the Supreme Court found that the trial court did not err in dismissing Phillips' and RJK's suit. View "Phillips v. Kelley" on Justia Law