Justia Bankruptcy Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois
Duniver, lost his leg during a 2017 workplace accident. In 2019, Duniver filed a personal injury lawsuit seeking recovery from multiple defendants. Weeks later, Duniver filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection and failed to disclose the personal injury lawsuit, answering “no” when asked whether he was suing anyone. He then checked “[y]es” in response to a question asking if he had “Other contingent or unliquidated claims of every nature, including counterclaims of the debtor and rights to set off claims.” Duniver listed: Workman’s Comp. On another form, he checked “[y]es” in response to: “Within 1 year before you filed for bankruptcy, were you a party in any lawsuit, court action, or administrative proceeding,” A collections action filed against Duniver was listed, but the personal injury case was not included.The defendants argued judicial estoppel prohibited Duniver from pursuing his personal injury lawsuit and that Duniver lacked standing to sue them where the injury claim belonged to the bankruptcy estate. Duniver then filed amended bankruptcy schedules disclosing his personal injury case. The bankruptcy case was dismissed. The circuit court granted the defendants summary judgment, finding Duniver “blatantly deceived” the bankruptcy trustee and that any claim would have to be pursued on behalf of the bankruptcy estate. The appellate court reversed. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed. Duniver had standing and the evidence failed to show an intent to deceive or mislead. View "Duniver v. Clark Material Handling Co." on Justia Law