Doyaga v. New York Presbyterian Hospital


New York Law Journal


Judge Eric Vitaliano

Stafford sued New York Presbyterian Hospital, Scaglione, and Walsh for employment discrimination. Subsequently, Stafford filed for bankruptcy and was discharged. A bankruptcy trustee replaced Stafford as plaintiff. New York Presbyterian and Walsh have now moved for summary judgment based on the theory of judicial estoppel. The court noted that judicial estoppel applied only if the first party against whom the estoppel was asserted had argued an inconsistent position in the proceeding; and that position was in some way adopted by the court. The court noted that had Stafford failed to amend her bankruptcy filings, defendants would have been well positioned to claim judicial estoppel. However by the time the bankruptcy court finalized the schedule of assets to be managed, Stafford had amended her statement of financial affairs and schedules to include this case. Thus, the court ruled the lawsuit was not disowned or abandoned by Stafford; it was included as part of the bankrupt estate and passed intact to the trustee. The court denied defendants' motion, and further found that their urging the court to cap the trustee's recovery at the amounts needed to compensate Stafford's creditors was a back door form of judicial estoppel.

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