Misery Index: Week of April 17, 2017


Blow Dry Bar at Macy’s Bows to Bankruptcy in New Jersey District Court
With $10 million in liabilities and just $50,000 in assets, One Blow Dry Bar filed for bankruptcy protection on April 17. This came just seven days after president of the company, Aurelio Ventrella, Jr., announced on the glitzy hair salon’s website that it would be offering unlimited hair blowouts for $199 a month at Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan. Signed by Mr. Ventrella, the petition discloses that the Herald Square department store near West 34 Street had blocked access to the premises without filing a court order or tenancy action. The Monmouth County, N.J. business petitioned the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton and lists an unliquidated debt of $115,000 owed to Macy’s and $1,115,000 owed to retired Macy’s employee Paul Proietto, according to court documents.

Sun Sets on Solar Panel Company in Bankruptcy Court
Suniva, a solar panel manufacturer in Georgia, seeks protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware from up to $500 million in liabilities. Filed on April 17, President Cheng Alex Zhu signed the chapter 11 petition that lists up to $50 million in assets. Suniva’s module plant in Saginaw, Mich., is now closed. However, the Norcross, Ga., facility will remain open because the removal of chemicals requires special training, according to court documents. An addendum further discloses that Hong Kong’s Shunfeng International Clean Energy Limited owns 63% of the photovoltaic (PV) solar cell manufacturer.

Death March of Adeptus Health’s ERs to Texas Bankruptcy Court
Adeptus Health LLC and a number of emergency rooms affiliated with the healthcare company sought chapter 11 protection on April 19 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The petitions were all signed by Chief Restructuring Officer Andrew Hinkelman, a consultant with financial advisory firm FTI in San Francisco who was reportedly hired earlier this year. Adeptus, which lists up to $50,000 in assets and $500 million in liabilities, operates some 100 healthcare businesses in Texas, Colo., Ariz., and Ohio. First Choice ER, Sienna Plantation Medical Center, Austin Brodie Medical Center, Legacy Trails Medical Center, Marrero Medical Center, Rosenthal Medical Center, National Medical Professionals of Ohio, San Antonio Nacogdoches Medical Center, Baytown Medical Center, Friendswood Medical Center, Ohio General Hospital and New Orleans East Medical Center were among the multiple medical facilities that followed suit Wednesday.

Embroiled Medical Practice of Neurosurgeon Joins Affiliates in Bankruptcy
Neurological Surgery of Covington sought chapter 11 protection on April 19, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Affiliates Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital LLC and LMCHH PCP were first to file in January, listing $10 million in assets and $500 million in liabilities. Employees subsequently filed a class action because they were reportedly downsized without being informed 60 days in advance as required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Listing up to $100,000 in liabilities and $50,000 in assets, the Neurological Surgery of Covington petition was signed by managing member Dr. Alan Weems, a neurosurgeon who is among the defendants sued for recovery of overpayment on Feb. 24, 2017, by Cardiovascular Care Group, Inc. and Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital, LLC.

Read the lawsuit filed against Neurological Surgery of Covington Affiliate LMCHH PCC here.

Read the recovery of overpayment suit filed against Alan Weems and Neurological Surgery of Covington here.

Read about the bankruptcy of affiliate Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital, LLC here.

Grandparents.com Ambles Into Bankruptcy Amid Accusations of Fraud
Grandparents.com, Inc sought chapter 11 relief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida with liabilities listed up to $50 million and assets up to $10 million. The website was primarily an online magazine similar to AARP but more specifically focused on retired grandparents over 50 years old. The company announced that it expects to be acquired by its secured lender.

“The reorganization actions will allow Grandparents.com to become a financially stable company with a solid foundation necessary to continue the pursuit of our strategic initiatives,” said Joshua Rizack, chief restructuring officer of Rising Group Consulting in Connecticut. A contingent unliquidated dispute in the amount of $296,519.05 is owed to DMI Partners, Inc, according to the petition signed by Mr. Rizack. According to filings with the SEC, DMI Partners, Inc. launched a suit against the company last year, claiming breach of contract and alleging nonpayment of services in connection to online marketing and sales lead generation. In 2015, former co-CEO and CFO Joseph Bernstein, grandfather of 14, filed complaints with the SEC Criminal Division of the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York against CEO Steve Leber, grandfather of seven, and Director Lee Lazarus whose positions ended last week, according to court documents.

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