In the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of Nevarez, Andres A.; In re (Tso v. Nevarez), a plaintiff who suffered a serious injury due to the debtor’s reckless driving was denied a request to make her debt “nondischargeable” in bankruptcy.
The details of the bankruptcy case:
On Oct. 5, 2005, the plaintiff, while a passenger in a car operated by the debtor, was seriously injured in an accident that occurred when the debtor ran a red light. The debtor did not contest that he faced criminal liability stemming from the accident. The plaintiff alleged that her damages were excepted from discharge by Section 523(a)(6).
Under Section 523(a)(6) of the bankruptcy law, injury caused by willful and malicious intent would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy. However the bankruptcy court denied the plaintiff’s request stating that reckless driving does not rise to the level of willful and malicious intent required to make it nondischargeable in bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court further stated that there was no proof that the debtor actually believed that his actions were certain to harm the plaintiff.
This case is important for those debtors who are being sued by plaintiffs who have suffered unintentional injury due to the debtor’s actions. Debtors may be able to have those debts discharged in bankruptcy. Contact a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney to find out whether your debt dischargeable in bankruptcy.