Three dozen Texans who claim they were harmed by asbestos exposure have been denied an opportunity to share in the liquidation of Agway Inc. in a potentially pivotal bankruptcy case.

Chief Northern District Bankruptcy Judge Stephen D. Gerling refused to allow plaintiffs whose injuries appeared pre-petition to file late claims, ruling that notices filed in three New York-based newspapers were sufficient to meet the due process rights of potential claimants some 1,700 miles away. Further, he held that claimants whose injuries became manifest post-petition cannot now share in whatever Agway assets are distributed through creditors.