Pfizer’s Quigley Unit Is Denied Permission to Exit Bankruptcy by Judge

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Pfizer’s Quigley Unit Is Denied Permission to Exit Bankruptcy by Judge

By Tiffany Kary – Sep 8, 2010 1:33 PM ET

Pfizer Inc.’s Quigley unit, a former asbestos maker, was denied permission to exit bankruptcy by a judge who found the world’s largest drug company manipulated the bankruptcy process to benefit itself.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein in New York today rejected Quigley’s fourth reorganization plan and said parties should discuss dismissal of the case. He said the plan was filed in “bad faith” by Pfizer and cited testimony that asbestos claims directed at Quigley could total $4.45 billion over the next 42 years.

“In a nutshell, Pfizer bought enough votes to assure that any plan would be accepted,” Bernstein wrote.


In a 90-page ruling that covers Pfizer’s failed attempts to deal with its growing asbestos liabilities since June 1985, Bernstein noted that a lawyer who represented both Quigley and Pfizer settled claims against Quigley and got releases for Pfizer at no additional cost.

Settling claimants were then given a financial incentive to vote in favor of Quigley’s bankruptcy plan through a series of legal moves before and after the bankruptcy filing, the judge wrote.

“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling as we continue to believe that Pfizer has no liability for Quigley’s conduct,” a Pfizer spokesman, Chris Loder, said in a telephone interview.

Bernstein also denied a motion to seal settlements of asbestos liabilities among Pfizer, Quigley and law firms.

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