Representation: Creditors’ Committee
Bankruptcy – Northern District of Ohio
Situation: Van Huffel was a large steel tube manufacturer with plants in Warren and Youngstown, Ohio and Oil City, PA. The decline of the steel industry forced the company into Chapter 11. There were union disputes and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation problems, as well as the normal secured creditor and trade creditor pressures. The committee of unsecured creditors hired Robert S. Bernstein and Bernstein and Bernstein, P.C. to represent it and claimants totalling approximately $9 million.
Action: The committee took an active role in the dispute with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, resulting in the reduction of the corporation’s position from a $23 million priority claimant to a $12 million unsecured claimant. The committee also took an active part in the negotiation and sale of various plants, including one with a hazardous waste problem.
The Chapter 11 was filed with the intent to liquidate the company. While attempts were made by the committee to find a buyer, these efforts did not bear fruit. The company was liquidated and the case was concluded by a distribution of the available funds to the union and other priority creditors.