Misery Index: Week of May 8, 2017


Regional Supermarket and 15 Affiliates Fish for Chapter 11 Protection

Citing a difficult retail environment and competition from the Kroger Co. and Meijer Supermarket Co., Marsh Supermarkets Holding, LLC filed for bankruptcy in the District of Delaware. According to court filings, the grocery store chain invested more than $15 million in capital expenditures over two years to keep pace with store refurbishments and remodels, but they did not achieve the sales lift anticipated even though certain stores outperformed total chain results. Chief Restructuring Officer Lee A. Diercks signed the petition, which listed up to $50,000 in assets and $100 million in liabilities. A total of 60 stores remain in Indiana and Ohio with some 4,400 workers.

Read the declaration of CRO Mr. Diercks here

New Orleans Levee Contractor Seeks Life Preserver in Bankruptcy Court

Willow Bend Ventures LLC filed for bankruptcy in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The company claimed up to $50,000 in assets and $10 million in liabilities in a petition signed by Manager Hensley R. Lee, whose member company H.R. Lee Contracting along with Hensley_R_Lee_Contracting became embroiled in a Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices complaint that emerged during construction on the Algiers levee in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In 2014, Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company filed suit in the state of Mississippi against Hensley R. Lee Contracting, Inc., claiming it was owed $88,522 for coverage. 

Read about Wausau Underwriters Insurance claim here

Regional Medical Center Injured by Government Pay Cuts

Citing reimbursement changes, payment cuts by government programs and aging populations, Oconee Regional Health Systems with 10 subsidiaries and affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia. Signed by interim CEO Steven M. Johnson, the petition listed up to $50,000 in assets and $50 million in liabilities. The company claimed in court filings that rural hospitals in Georgia are closing and suffering financial losses at historical rates due to factors beyond their control.

 Read declaration of Steven M. Johnson here

Search Engine Optimizer Seeks to End Competitor Patent Suit in Bankruptcy

After spending some $2 million a year to defend itself in a patent suit brought by a competitor, Searchmetrics sought chapter 11 protection on Monday, May 8. Signed by Chief Restructuring Officer Wayne P. Weitz, the petition lists up to $10 million in assets and $50 million in liabilities. Mr. Weitz stated in court filings that competitor BrightEdge was dragging out and submerging Searchmetrics in litigation after a failed attempt to acquire or merge with Searchmetrics in October 2013. Searchmetrics denies its products infringe on any valid patents owned by BrightEdge in a statement posted on its website. BrightEdge sued Searchmetrics in 2014.

Read CRO Weitz’ affidavit here

Read the BrightEdge patent suit here     

TSMC Inc Joins Affiliates in the Bankruptcy Pond

Chapter 11 proceedings by TSMC Inc. started on May 9, 2017, in the Southern District of New York, White Plains division after TD Bank launched a foreclosure action against TSMC Inc, Athanasios Stratigakis and Michael Casarella, who co-own Goldfish Restaurant and Hudson Valley Hospitality Group Inc. Vice President Michael Casarella signed the petition, which listed up to $1 million in assets and $10 million in liabilities. According to court filings, Goldfish Restaurant in Ossining announced liabilities up to $500,000 in April 2017 while the Hudson Valley Hospitality Group, Inc. claimed only up to $50,000 in liabilities in its Westchester County bankruptcy petition in Nov. 2016.

Cosmetic Dentist Chips Away at Business Debt in Bankruptcy Court

Dr. Joel R. Fischer sought protection from creditors this week in the Southern District of New York. A chapter 7 petition claiming assets and liabilities of up to $10 million was signed by both Dr. Fischer and his wife Ellyn R. Fischer who maintain Ariel Dental Care in New Paltz, N.Y. According to their website, Dr. Fischer specializes in not only tooth restoration but also sleep apnea at his Center for Dental Sleep Medicine. Property claimed as exempt by the couple include a residence in Ulster County valued at $505,000, a 2004 BMW and $600,774.99 in an IRA. Creditors include DanJam Enterprises, LLC, Newtek Small Business Finance, Bank of America and Stearns Bank.

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