Can our case be discharged by the bankruptcy court? 17 Answers as of April 09, 2014

We have filed an appeal for the death of our mother against a doctor and hospital. The doctor has filed bankruptcy and our case has been issued a "Stay".

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EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
A debt which has resulted because of malpractice or negligence should be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/9/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Yes it can unless it falls within one of the exceptions. Additionally, if the doctor has insurance then the discharge does not affect his insurance company's obligation to pay your damages.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/2/2014
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
You will want to see an experienced bankruptcy creditor's attorney for help in partially lifting (removing) the stay so you can proceed. Often, the doctor's malpractice insurance will be responsible for paying the claim so if you are willing to assure the doctor that you won't pursue him/her personally, the doctor may even agree to this request.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 4/2/2014
Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
Your question is somewhat confusing. If you filed a complaint against a doctor and hospital for medical malpractice and that case had not been tried when the doctor filed for bankruptcy, you have two options. You can file a motion for relief from the automatic bankruptcy stay to allow the case to go forward. Alternatively, you can ask the trial court to allow you to proceed to trial against the hospital. If the case has already gone to trial and you won, the proper course of action is to file an adversary complaint in the doctor's bankruptcy and ask the court to deem your judgment non-dischargeable. In any event, you need to contact a bankruptcy attorney immediately and get their advice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/2/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
A bankruptcy will release the doctor from any liability for the death of your mother, however, it will not release the hospital and it will not release the doctor's malpractice insurance company or the hospital. All hospitals require doctors who practice at the hospital to have malpractice insurance. The purpose of the stay is to prevent wasteful litigation, when the defendant will be release from liability - however in this case both the hospital and the doctor's malpractice insurance company will not be released from liability. The bankruptcy court should grant you a release from stay, so your lawsuit can move forward.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/2/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    It is likely that your claim against the Dr will be dischargeable in his Bankruptcy, unless you could prove his conduct was willful.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/2/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    Some debts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(5) prevents the discharge of a debt incurred for willful or malicious injury to another person or persons property. There is no negligent wrongful death nondischargeability provision under the Bankruptcy Code, so you'll have to prove the doctor's actions were willful or malicious
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/2/2014
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
    GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
    It depends. Look at 11 USC 523 for a list of debts which may not be dischargeable. There may be other liable parties involved as well. Also, if the doctor has malpractice insurance, you may still be able to assert your claims against his or her insurance company. Speak to a lawyer who specializes in personal injury claims. Do so quickly since there are a number of statue of limitations that could bar your claims if you do not act with all due speed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Yes, if they case alleges negligence by the doctor, it can be discharged/stayed as to him. Your case against the hospital can continue, but proving negligence by the hospital will be more difficult.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Yes, it is possible. However, your case against the hospital will survive. Also, the doctor probably had insurance to cover negligence which you can ask the bankruptcy court to allow you to pursue. Any amount owed beyond the insurance limits would be discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    It is likely that the doctor will be able to discharge any judgment you get, but the hospital cannot dodge you that easily. I would recommend dismissing the case as to the doctor so your appeal can go forward against the hospital only. Sorry for your loss!
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Law Office of Shawn N. Wright | Shawn N. Wright
    Are you in a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case? That's a huge distinction, because with a Chapter 13, you definitely won't receive a discharge order until the end of your case. But I am presuming that you are in a Chapter 7. If you have a claim against the doctor and hospital for wrongful death, your discharge is not related to the underlying wrongful death action. So, once you have your 341 Meeting of Creditors with the Chapter 7 Trustee, then there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period before the discharge order may be issued. At the end of the waiting period, then you or your attorney should contact the Bankruptcy Court or the Trustee to see if your discharge order can be granted. Your underlying case will still remain open presumably until there is a settlement or recovery from the hospital for the wrongful death action, but at least you can get your discharge order, and start rebuilding your credit, or purchase a vehicle, or whatever you wish.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It depends, but commonly yes. Seek counsel from your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    You need to see an attorney. If the cause of action was for negligence, the debt will most likely be dischargeable in the bankruptcy. There are certain circumstances in which a debt is not dischargeable, but you should have counsel review your case and you should do it as soon as possible, as the time limits for bringing a non-dischargeability action are quite short.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    Unlikely. Anything that involves personal injury is not usually dischargeable. Your attorney on the civil case should get involved in the bankruptcy to make sure that it is not discharged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    It is quite likely the debt will be discharged / if dr has insurance you can get relief from the stay to go after insurance proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    The Stay simply means everything is on hold for the doctor. Whether or not you can get anything depends on the type of bankruptcy he filed and whether he was grossly negligent, among many other things. Talk to the lawyer handling your mother's case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/1/2014
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