758 F.2d 936 (3rd Cir. 1985), 84-5310, Schweitzer v. Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail)

Docket Nº:Appeal of CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, Intervenor in No. 84-5310.
Citation:758 F.2d 936
Party Name:SCHWEITZER, Josephine, Appellant, v. CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company. SEIBERT, Mildred, Individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Seibert, Paul D., Deceased, Appellant, v. CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) the Reading Company. WENTZEL, George A., Appellant, v. CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and th
Case Date:March 29, 1985
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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Page 936

758 F.2d 936 (3rd Cir. 1985)

SCHWEITZER, Josephine, Appellant,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

SEIBERT, Mildred, Individually and as Executrix of the

Estate of Seibert, Paul D., Deceased, Appellant,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) the Reading Company.

WENTZEL, George A., Appellant,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

Elaine SCHWAMBACH, Executrix of the Estate of Woodrow W.

Schwambach and Merlin Schwambach, Executor of that

Estate, Appellants,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

FRANK, Marilyn L., as Executrix of the Estate of Russell C.

Wennell, deceased, Appellant,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

SCHOLL, Martin H., Individually and as Executor of the

Estate of Ethel M. Scholl, deceased, Appellant,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

FENSTERMACHER, Earl R., and Scholing, Carl,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, a corporation, and the

Reading Company, a corporation

v.

ANCHOR PACKING COMPANY, Celotex Corporation,

successor-in-interest to Philip Carey Manufacturing Company,

Philip Carey Corporation, Briggs Manufacturing Company

and/or Panacon Corporation, Certainteed Corporation, Durox

Equipment Company, Garlock, Inc., Janos Industrial

Insulation Corporation, John Crane- Houdaille, Inc., J.W.

Roberts Ltd., Keene Corporation, Nicolet, Inc., Nosroc

Corporation, successor-in-interest to G. & W.H. Corson, Inc.

and Calcite Quarry Corporation, Studebaker-Worthington,

Inc., Tannetics, Inc., Turner & Newall PLC, Turner Asbestos

Fibers Ltd., Union Rubber, Inc. and Vellumoid Company,

Third-Party Defendants,

Eagle Picher Industries, Inc. and Flintkote Company.

Appeal of FENSTERMACHER, Earl R., in No. 84-1203.

Appeal of SCHOLING, Carl, in No. 84-1204.

Josephine SCHWEITZER, Mildred Seibert, Individually and as

Executrix of the Estate of Paul D. Seibert, Deceased, George

A. Wentzel, Elaine Schwambach, Executrix of the Estate of

Woodrow W. Schwambach, and Merlin Schwambach, Executor of

that Estate, Marilyn L. Frank, as Executrix of the Estate of

Russell C. Wennell, Deceased, Martin H. Scholl, Individually

and as Executor of the Estate of Ethel M. Scholl, Deceased,

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) and the Reading Company.

Appeal of CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION. (Two Cases)

Earl R. FENSTERMACHER and Carl Scholing

v.

CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, a corporation, and the

Reading Company, a corporation

v.

ANCHOR PACKING COMPANY, Celotex Corporation,

successor-in-interest to Philip Carey Manufacturing Company,

Philip Carey Corporation, Briggs Manufacturing Company

and/or Panacon Corporation, Certainteed Corporation, Durox

Equipment Company, Garlock, Inc., Janos Industrial

Insulation Corporation, John Crane- Houdaille, Inc., J.W.

Roberts Ltd., Keene Corporation, Nicolet, Inc., Nosroc

Corporation, successor-in-interest to G. & W.H. Corson, Inc.

and Calcite Quarry Corporation, Studebaker-Worthington,

Inc., Tannetics, Inc., Turner & Newall PLC, Turner Asbestos

Fibers Ltd., Union Rubber, Inc. and Vellumoid Company,

Third-Party Defendants,

Eagle Picher Industries, Inc. and Flintkote Company.

In the Matter of the CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY, Debtor,

Consolidated Rail Corporation, Intervenor,

Andrew Thomas and Trudell Thomas, his wife, Appellants.

Appeal of Andrew THOMAS and Trudell Thomas, in No. 84-5293.

Appeal of CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION, Intervenor in No. 84-5310.

In the Matter of The CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY, Debtor,

Consolidated Rail Corporation, Intervenor [*].

Appeal of Joseph PONGRAC, Sr., Robert A. Bingle, Alexander

Redelico and Evelyn Redelico, h/w, Joseph C. Popadick and

Elma Popadick, h/w, Edward Witos and Philomena Witos, h/w,

Mark Gammel, Harry Guralchuk, Steve Palichak, Joseph M.

Pinto, Frank Pongrac, Jr., John Sowizral, Harry Wilson,

George J. Zeblisky, Robert J.F. Brobyn, Richard Middleton

and any and all persons acting on their behalf.

Nos. 84-1086 to 84-1089, 84-1108, 84-1132, 84-1203, 84-1204,

84-1116 to 84- 1121, 84-1160, 84-1194, 84-5295,

84-5310 and 84-5451.

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

March 29, 1985

Argued Dec. 13, 1984.

Rehearing and Rehearing In Banc Denied in Nos. 84-5293,

84-5310 and 84-5451 April 26, 1985.

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Page 939

Joseph F. Rice, James H. Rion, Blatt & Fales, Barnwell, S.C., Frederick W. Nabhan, Nabhan & Nabhan, Allentown, Pa., Richard H. Middleton, Jr., Middleton & Anderson, Savannah, Ga., Paul Pratt, P.C., James Murray Lynn, Stack & Gallagher, P.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Weiner, Ostrager, Fieldman & Zucker, c/o Bernard Chazen (argued), Englewood, N.J., Robert J.F. Brobyn, Brobyn & Forceno, P.C., Philadelphia, Pa., J. Michael Farrell, Camden, N.J., Thomas Parks Shearer (argued), Pittsburgh, Pa., Arthur R. Miller (argued), Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., for appellants.

James D. Crawford (argued), Ralph G. Wellington, Margaret S. Woodruff, Bonnie R. MacDougal, Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, Philadelphia, Pa., Bruce B. Wilson, Donald A. Brinkworth, D. Scott Morgan, Margaret W. Wiener, Consolidated Rail Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., for Conrail.

Howard H. Lewis (argued), Alfred W. Hesse, Jr., Jeffrey S. Adler, Timothy I. McCann, Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, Philadelphia, Pa., for Reading.

Stanley Weiss (argued), Alexander Cohen, Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, Newark, N.J., for CNJ, CJI, and Timpany.

John H. Lewis, Jr., William E. Zeiter, Richard F. McMenamin, William H. Clark, Jr., Annemiek N. Young, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Philadelphia, Pa., Robert J. Siverd, David A. Bernat, The Penn Central Corporation, Greenwich, Conn., for amicus, Penn Central.

Before SEITZ, GARTH, and HIGGINBOTHAM, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

SEITZ, Circuit Judge.

These appeals, in the various procedural postures set forth in Part I, infra, call upon us to interpret Sec. 77 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1898 ("section 77"), as amended, formerly codified at 11 U.S.C. Sec. 205 (repealed 1978). Among the questions presented is whether a plaintiff in an asbestos-related personal injury action who had no manifest injury prior to the consummation date of his employer's reorganization in bankruptcy had a dischargeable "claim" within the meaning of section 77.

I.

Former railroad workers, representatives and survivors brought tort actions against The Reading Company ("Reading") and other defendants in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania pursuant to the Federal Employers' Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. Sec. 51 et seq. (1982) ("F.E.L.A."). Subject matter jurisdiction existed pursuant to 28 U.S.C....

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