When you file a personal injury action or any type of legal claim, it is critical to take the process seriously and to abide by the many procedural and substantive rules that Illinois law requires. Navigating the legal system after suffering a painful injury can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful for an injury victim. The seasoned Chicago personal injury attorneys at Therman Law Offices are available to assist you with exploring your legal rights and securing the compensation that you deserve.
A recent opinion from an Illinois Court of Appeal highlights the importance of following the rules in litigation. In the underlying case, the plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against a company alleging that he slipped and fell on polystyrene debris that it negligently left on the floor of its warehouse. The plaintiff worked for another company that contracted with the first company to remove and bail the polystyrene. The complaint was filed on December 31, 2015.
Roughly two years later, the plaintiff filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Arizona. In his paperwork, he did not disclose the pending personal injury lawsuit. A bankruptcy petition is made under oath and subject to perjury laws. These are laws that punish individuals for falsifying information under oath. A few months later, the plaintiff sent the defendant a written offer to settle the personal injury lawsuit in the amount of $1.2 million. Throughout this period, the plaintiff made a number of amendments to his bankruptcy schedules identifying his assets.
In September 2017, the bankruptcy court confirmed a repayment plan for the plaintiff. In December, the defendant in the civil lawsuit filed a motion for summary judgment on the basis that the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue the claim and that he was judicially estopped from seeking legal action when he failed to disclose it in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The plaintiff eventually amended his bankruptcy schedule to include the personal injury action.