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Corinne Ball is a partner at Jones Day. Corinne Ball

Litigation, insurance assets and injunctions received a mixed review in three recent opinions involving the liquidation of a debtor. The focus of today’s column is an opinion from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington that involved the rejection of a commutation of insurance policies styled as a §363 sale of such policies to repurchasing insurers free and clear of claims, coupled with an injunction barring suit against such repurchasing insurers. On appeal to the district court, the bankruptcy court’s order was resoundingly reversed both as to the approval of the §363 sale and as to the injunction, relying upon long-standing Ninth Circuit precedent disallowing all third-party releases in bankruptcy as part of a confirmed plan. The district court also determined that the bankruptcy court was not empowered to issue a final judgement against the non-settling insurers. See In re Fraser’s Boiler Serv., No. 18-05637 (RBL) (W.D. Wash. March 8, 2019), ECF No. 44.

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