Case Type:
Case Status:
17-4241 (6th Circuit, Oct 24,2018) Published
Affirmed dismissal of plaintiff-appellant Peter Newman’s claims against his former employer and others because Newman had failed to disclose both the existence of those claims and the income from his University employment in his bankruptcy proceeding.
Procedural context:
Appeal form US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
On October 8, 2014, Newman filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Newman listed his occupation as “disabled” and his income as $0, stated that he did not expect his income to increase the following year. Between January 23, 2015, and December 22, 2016, Newman was employed as an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton (University), where he taught courses in the School of Law, MBA Program, and School of Business Administration and earned a total of $38,762 from his work for the University. Newman filed an amended Plan on February 5, 2015, in which he again listed his occupation as “disabled” and failed to disclose his University employment or income. Newman filed another amended Plan on February 26, 2015, which again made no reference to his employment with the University. On September 16, 2016, Newman filed an internal discrimination and harassment complaint against one of his students at the University, alleging that she had disrespected him based on his age, gender, and race. Newman filed suit in US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on May 19, 2017. Newman’s complaint advanced thirteen claims under federal and Ohio law, all of which are premised on allegedly unlawful actions taken by the University or the individual defendants in connection with Newman’s employment. On July 14, 2017, defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Newman “is judicially estopped from asserting the claims and seeking the damages at issue in this case” because, although “[a]ll of Newman’s claims are related to his employment as an adjunct instructor at the University,” Newman never disclosed as assets in his bankruptcy proceeding “the existence of the claims at issue in this action as contingent and unliquidated claims” or “his employment with or earnings from the University.” On October 31, 2017, the district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss on the basis that the doctrine of judicial estoppel barred Newman from advancing any of the claims in the suit.

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