Failure To Disclose Claim In Bankruptcy Proceeding Is Fatal To Plaintiff's Subsequent Tort Claim

Attorney Lauren Rafferty obtained dismissal of a personal injury case filed by a maintenance worker who fell from a ladder at our client’s distribution facility, and sustained career ending injuries.  The plaintiff had filed bankruptcy just a few weeks before the incident, but never disclosed his claim during the pendency of the bankruptcy.   We argued that the plaintiff was barred from pursuing the claim based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel, while the plaintiff argued that the claim was not an asset of his bankruptcy estate under federal law, as it developed after the commencement of the case.    Judge Gomolinski granted our motion to dismiss, finding that the plaintiff’s failure to disclose the claim while in bankruptcy, yet pursuing the claim in state court, were inconsistent positions, and that the plaintiff was bound by the position he took in bankruptcy court.   Grzelak v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., 12 L 9759 (Circuit Court of Cook County).