Sharfarz v. Goguen, No. 11-9004 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Sharfarz hired Goguen to build an addition to his house. Despite taking full payment, Goguen never finished the job. Sharfarz had to pay another to finish the work and sued consumer-protection laws, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93A; Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 142A. Sharfarz obtained a default judgment of $272,745. After an evidentiary hearing to assess damages, the state judge wrote that Goguen was "both deceptive and unfair, almost from the beginning and to the end," and that his "violations" had been "willful and knowing." Goguen filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Sharfarz sought to have his judgment declared nondischargeable, under a provision that bars discharge of "any debt ... for money ... to the extent obtained by ... false pretenses, a false representation, or actual fraud" 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(A). The bankruptcy judge denied the petition. The First Circuit vacated and remanded for determination of the nondischargeable amount. Goguen’s false statements were both the legal and factual cause of Sharfarz’s loss.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on September 12, 2012.