Now Updating
In re Edwin Earl Elliott

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

In re Donald and Jane Nichols

Summarizing by Lars Fuller

In re Appalachian Fuels, LLC

In re: Appalachian Fuels, LLC, et al., B.A.P. Case No. 12-8026 (6th Cir. B.A.P. Apr. 19, 2013)
The BAP affirmed that the Bankruptcy Court did not abuse its discretion by denying administrative expense claims where there was insufficient evidence to pierce the corporate veil and impose liability on the affiliated entity. It remanded for a determination if the closely inter-related activities of the affiliates were nevertheless sufficient to impose liability directly on the debtor according to the terms of the environmental statutes.
Procedural context:
The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky overruled the application for administrative expenses, finding that as a matter of law The Apps were not liable under statute, regulation, or as a result of the entities working in concert of action.
Seven affiliated business entities involved in coal mining obtained a Chapt. 11 liquidation. The debtors were not substantively consolidated. Only two had assets, Appalachian Fuels and Appalachian Premium Fuels (The Apps). Only their creditors shared under the joint liquidation plan. The WVDEP then applied for administrative expenses that related to the environmental liabilities of one of the entities that had no assets, Kanawha Development Corp (KDC). It argued that that there was joint and several liability among the entities because, according to one affidavit, all seven were controlled by one man and operated as a joint venture for his benefit. It further argued that The Apps amounted to “operators” under KDC’s mining permits.
Harris, Humphrey, and Preston, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Judges (Opinion by Arthur I. Harris)

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