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Judge Rejects Move by Hughes Tool to Return to Creditors Committee

From a Times Staff Writer

Hughes Tool Co.'s attempt to reinstate itself on Smith International Inc.'s creditors committee was rejected Monday by a Los Angeles federal court judge.

U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real denied Hughes’ motion without comment.

In May, Hughes was removed from the committee by the bankruptcy judge handling Smith’s Chapter 11 reorganization. Houston-based Hughes, Smith’s largest unsecured creditor, appealed that decision to the federal court.

Smith, a Newport Beach oil-field services and equipment company, was ordered to pay Hughes $205 million after losing a 14-year patent infringement suit late last year.

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Shortly after the judgment was issued, Smith filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code.

Attorneys for Smith previously argued for Hughes’ ouster from the creditors committee on the grounds that remaining on the committee would make Hughes--Smith’s major competitor--privy to competitive trade secrets.


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