Marshall v. Honeywell Tech. Sys.

Plaintiff appealed the district court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing her discrimination complaint on the ground of judicial estoppel. The district court found that plaintiff failed to disclose this suit and related administrative proceedings on the schedules she filed with the bankruptcy court. In exercising its decision to invoke judicial estoppel, the district court relied on the court's opinion in Moses v. Howard University Hospital. In Moses, the court wrote: “every circuit that has addressed the issue has found that judicial estoppel is justified to bar a debtor from pursuing a cause of action in district court where that debtor deliberately fails to disclose the pending suit in a bankruptcy case.” Moses held that a debtor could not avoid judicial estoppel if he omitted his pending cause of action but reported “pending lawsuits that, unlike the instant case, reduced the overall value of his assets through wage garnishment.” The district court held that plaintiff was in the same position as the plaintiff in Moses. The court concluded that the district court properly invoked judicial estoppel to grant summary judgment in favor of defendants, and the court affirmed the judgment. The court noted that other courts of appeals have evaluated the frequent contentions of bankruptcy debtors in light of the Supreme Court’s observation – in a case that did not involve inadvertence or mistake – that “it may be appropriate to resist judicial estoppel when a party’s earlier position was based on inadvertence or mistake.” The court saw no need to take sides in this debate. View "Marshall v. Honeywell Tech. Sys." on Justia Law