E. Claiborne Robins Jr. should be billed $227,597 for "extensive personal use" of A.H. Robins Co.'s helicopter, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond was told yesterday.
The committee representing women injured by Robins' Dalkon Shield birth-control device asked the court to order the bankrupt company "to take whatever steps are necessary to recover" the money from its president.
The company bought the Bell helicopter for $457,753 in September 1983, "primarily for Mr. Robins' personal use," the Dalkon Shield Claimants' Committee said. "This is corroborated by the helicopter logs."
Under a court order obtained by committee counsel Murray Drabkin five weeks after the company's Chapter 11 filing in August 1985, the company sold the Bell Long Ranger for $285,000 in late 1986.
Based on widely differing analyses by the committee's accountants and the company's auditors, Ralph R. Mabey, the court-appointed examiner, said last May that Robins owed between $132,883 and $255,442 to the bankrupt estate.
But Robins' personal lawyer, Neal Batson of Atlanta, told Mabey that a senior company financial executive had calculated that Robins owed only $18,748 for use of the helicopter.
"While it appears to me that the helicopter use was an appropriate corporate benefit for which reimbursement should not be required, Mr. Robins is prepared to consider some reimbursement if this matter can be resolved without the necessity of extensive litigation," Batson said.
In yesterday's court filing, the committee said that a revised analysis by its accountants showed $227,597 to be the correct figure. Robins "has steadfastly refused" to repay the company, Drabkin said.