August 04, 2004

In a significant win for the Firm, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana entered a $43.3 million judgment on behalf of the Chapter 7 Trustee of Consolidated Industries Corp. on July 28.  The decision was against Consolidated Industries’ former owner Enodis Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of foodservice equipment. 

Partners Catherine L. Steege and Joel T. Pelz and Associate Peter A. Siddiqui successfully tried the case on behalf of the Trustee.  Also helping to secure this win were Partners Barry Levenstam and Jacob I. Corré, Associate Derek S. Witte, and former Associate Melinda E.A. Cupps, who recently left the firm to commence a clerkship with the Honorable Susan Dlott,  United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio.

The Bankruptcy Court found that Consolidated Industries transferred over $30 million of its assets to its former owner, Enodis Corporation, with an actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud Consolidated Industries’ creditors and that the transfers also were constructively fraudulent.  Prior to its demise, Consolidated Industries manufactured residential furnaces in Lafayette, Ind. 

In December 2002, the District Court had entered an $8.6 million judgment against Enodis Corporation and a subsidiary Welbilt Holding Company finding that the transfers Enodis received as a result of the leveraged buy-out in which Enodis sold Consolidated Industries also were constructive fraudulent transfers.