Zullo v. Lombardo, No. 13-9004 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
John Zullo paid David Lombardo to perform work in Zullo’s house. Lombardo, however, had misrepresented his credentials, and Zullo incurred additional expense to have the inadequate work fixed. Zullo subsequently obtained a Massachusetts state court judgment against Lombardo, which Lombardo never paid. After Lombardo later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Zullo began an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court, alleging that Lombardo’s debt to him was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 532(a)(6), which excepts from bankruptcy discharge “any debt…for willful and malicious injury by the debtor to…to the property of another entity.” The bankruptcy court ultimately granted summary judgment for Lombardo on the 11 U.S.C. 532(a)(6) claim, and the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel affirmed. At issue before the First Circuit was whether the bankruptcy court erred in denying Zullo’s request for leave to amend his complaint. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying Zullo’s request where Zullo provided no explanation for the seventeen-month delay between filing his complaint and seeking leave to amend.