In Ontario, can a judgment arising from dui/bodily harm be released by bankruptcy?
A friend had an ATV accident in which the passenger was hurt. The friend plead guilty to a DUI causing bodily harm and served two years. Now the passenger is suing for damages. The friend has no money to hire a lawyer and has decided not to dispute the claim.
Assuming the plaintiff will get a judgment against him, he wonders if once the plaintiff is awarded this judgment and if he claims bankruptcy what will happen to the debt. I have read that according to s.178(1)(a.1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act:
An order of discharge does not release the bankrupt from
(a.1) any award of damages by a Court in civil proceedings in respect of
bodily harm intentionally inflicted …
but it seems intentional torts would be assault and battery etc. Would this mean that the judgment could be released in the case of a personal injury claim arising from a DUI accident since there was no intent on causing any harm?
You raise a good point. I’m not sure of the answer, as I am not a lawyer.
Your friend should ask an insolvency lawyer for a legal opinion.
The lawyer should supply your friend with a written legal opinion, which if the opinion is favourable, he can give to the trustee at the initial consultation.
He should ask the trustee if the trustee concurs with the legal opinion.
Licensed Insolvency Trustee