Kucera v. BillingsAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment for the City of Billings and Jon Does 1-10, thus dismissing Plaintiff's claims for negligence and nuisance, holding that Plaintiff's claims were barred by judicial estoppel.
Plaintiff presented a claim to the City for damages to his home from a City water line break. The City denied Plaintiff's claim. Plaintiff then filed a petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Plaintiff, however, failed under penalty of perjury to disclose potential claims against the City on his bankruptcy petition. After the City denied his claim, Plaintiff filed his complaint against the City for negligence, nuisance, and inverse condemnation seeking compensatory damages caused by the water leak. The City filed a motion for summary judgment for all three claims. Plaintiff conceded judgment on the inverse condemnation claim but contested judgment on his nuisance and negligence claims. The district court granted summary judgment for the City, determining that Plaintiff's claims were barred by judicial estoppel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that because Plaintiff did not disclose his potential claims against the City on his bankruptcy petition or anytime during the duration of the bankruptcy, Plaintiff's negligence and nuisance claims were barred by judicial estoppel.