Hawkins v. Tyree

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Torts

New York Law Journal

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Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck

Tyree sought bankruptcy protection on March 26, 2010. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge was granted on July 14, 2010. Tyree sought dismissal of sister Hawkins' diversity action alleging "emotional anguish" as a result of Tyree's acts or omissions in having their mother removed from life support in April 2009. Tyree contended that her bankruptcy discharge barred Hawkins' claims, all of which arose before March 26, 2010. Discussing the Supreme Court's 1998 ruling in Kawaauahu v. Geiger, the court dismissed Hawkins' claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, but denied dismissal of her claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. To the extent Hawkins' "emotional anguish" claim asserted negligent infliction of emotional distress that claim was dismissed because her complaint failed to specifically allege facts from which the court could infer a "willful or malicious injury." To the extent Hawkins claimed intentional infliction of emotional distress that claim satisfied the "willful and malicious injury" standard. According to "Colliers on Bankruptcy" §523.12[4] (16th ed. 2012) "[c]laims based on ... intentional infliction of emotional distress ... have typically been held nondischargeable."

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