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Church Joint Venture, L.P. v. Earl Blasingame

Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

Vehicle Market Research, Inc. v. Mitchell Intl., Inc.

Citation:
Vehicle Market Research, Inc. v. Mitchell International, Inc., No. 12-3333 (10th Cir. Sept. 17, 2014)
Tag(s):
Ruling:
Tenth Circuit reversed trial court, ruling that judicial estoppel did not apply to bar claim by plaintiff where plaintiff's principal attested in bankruptcy that value of stock in company was valueless, but company (through principal) then asserted in suit that value of assets were worth up to $4 million. Tenth Circuit ruled that strict standards of judicial estoppel, statements were not clearly inconsistent. Principal's statement regarding the value of the stock was not clearly inconsistent from statement regarding the value of the company's assets.
Procedural context:
Plaintiff sued defendant alleging breach of contract. Trial court (U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas) entered summary judgment on behalf of defendant, applying judicial estoppel. Plaintiff appealed to Tenth Circuit.
Facts:
Plaintiff entity sued defendant alleging breach of contract related to intellectual property owned by entity. Principal of entity had previously filed bankruptcy under Chapter 7, and had asserted in bankruptcy schedules that the value of his 100% stock in entity was worth nothing. Principal subsequently amended schedules to allege that value of stock was "unknown." Entity commenced suit against defendant, asserting damages based on value of intellectual property, alleged alternatively to be worth up to $4.5 million, and up to $4 million. Defendant moved to dismiss on summary judgment, asserting judicial estoppel based on principal's sworn statement regarding value of stock in entity as being worth nothing. Trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant.
Judge(s):
Kelly, Ebel, and Bacharach

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