Irvin v. Faller (In re Faller)
(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Mar. 17, 2016)
In this nondischargeability action, the bankruptcy court denies the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to the 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) claim based on defamation and grants the motion as to the § 523(a)(6) claim based on abuse of process. The court analyzes the prepetition state court judgment to determine whether the requisite willful and malicious injury for § 523(a)(6) was established such that collateral estoppel prevented the defendant from defending against the claims in this action. Because the defamation judgment was not clear as to whether the false information was published with knowledge of it being false or published with a reckless disregard for the truth, the defendant was not collaterally estopped from arguing 523(a)(6) did not apply to this claim. On the other hand, the judgment as to the abuse of process was clear that the defendant acted with the requisite intent for § 523(a)(6). Opinion below.
Attorney for Plaintiffs: Kerrick Bachert PSC, Scott A. Bachert
Attorney for Defendant: McClain Dewees, PLLC, Michael W. McClain