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Can I continue a civil suit (approved by the Human Rights Commission) if the subsidiary was approved for bankruptcy?

Cedar Falls, IA |

Lawsuit regarding sexual harassment, failure to promote, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. Company involved is a huge institution with a parent company and several subsidiaries. The parent company itself did not file Chapter 11. I worked for what would be considered one of its business units.

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

And what did your attorney say? This is something your attorney would address.

Asker

Posted

My attorney specializes in employment law and does not feel confident in advising me further due to the complexity of bankruptcy law. I was advised to seek counsel from a bankruptcy lawyer.

Asker

Posted

She is getting her information from the opposing law firm representing the company, who declare that I can not recover anything since the bankruptcy has been approved and that I can not sue the parent company because the bankruptcy makes them exempt to such suits. I am questioning whether this would be true, as my insurance and payroll, the company policies, donation matching, etc. were all under the parent name. In addition, the top executives were shared and the entity I worked for was referred to as a business unit, not as a separate corporate entity.

Asker

Posted

Also, the opposing counsel wants me to sign an agreement to dismiss the case with prejudice, and so forth, and if I do not they are threatening to come after me for their costs and legal fees. I guess I do not understand why it is so imperative that I sign something, to the point that they are trying to motivate me financially, if it is absolutely certain that I have no claim or any further judiciary actions available to me.

Matthew Scott Berkus

Matthew Scott Berkus

Posted

Regardless of what anyone says here, you are going to have to hire a bankruptcy attorney. Your question is too specific to your circumstances to be answered on a forum like this that is geared toward "general" information. First point, companies (corporation) do not receive a discharge of debt in bankruptcy. So, your claim doesn't "evaporate" as part of the bankruptcy process. If the company you are suing filed chapter 11, that means it is still operating. I am not a corporate chapter 11 attorney, but in bankruptcy (the big picture), you have a claim that hasn't been liquidated (meaning, the extent of liability and the amount have not been determined). What would normally happen is you would file a Motion for Relief from Stay in bankruptcy court to continue your lawsuit. The reason you need to see a bankruptcy attorney is to determine if your claim is worth pursuing. Meaning, does the company have any resources to pay it even if you won relative to other claims that may supercede yours, and to take the procedural steps in bankruptcy court to continue your lawsuit. As to the parent company, the bankruptcy is largely irrelevant. Your attorney should be able to determine if the parent has any liability (most likely not). If it did, the parent company would have (should have) been named in the original lawsuit.

Robert F Gauss

Robert F Gauss

Posted

I agree with all of this sage advice. A bankruptcy lawyer may also be able to advise if there is insurance available to pay the claim if you succeed. Sometimes a bankruptcy court will allow a motion for relief from the automatic stay so a plaintiff can proceed knowing that an insurance company would be the entity paying out if you succeed.

Kevin Rindler Madison

Kevin Rindler Madison

Posted

I agree- consult with a Bankruptcy lawyer.

Posted

The best advice would be to set an appointment with an attorney who specializes in employment law and sexual harassment cases. Then after a thorough review of all of the facts, they can give you an opinion as to whether you have a viable claim, and what procedural steps you should take. Many attorneys handle these cases on a contingency percentage fee, taking a percentage of the recovery. In contingency fee arrangements, there are no hourly fees. In some states attorneys do not charge anything for an initial appointment to discuss your case but in others there is a reasonable fee charged to compensate the attorney for their time and advice. I would suggest that you begin your search for an attorney on this Avvo website. There is a tab "Find A Lawyer" on the home page of Avvo at www.avvo.com that will help you find a lawyer in this practice area in your locale. Good luck!

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. I hope my information is helpful to you. If you think this post was a good answer, please click the "Good Answer" button below and/or designate my answer as the "BEST ANSWER". Thanks. This is a general response to a question for basic information and is not legal advice. Legal advice can only be given when all of the facts of your situation are discussed with a lawyer, which we have not done.. If you reside outside the State of Texas please understand that the laws may be different from the laws that I may cite in a my comment. This comment is not to be construed as legal advice to your particular situation because there are many factors that influence legal counseling- this is simply a comment. Response to an email does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C., nor any of its attorneys. If you send us an e-mail, or call us, and we do not already represent you, neither your e-mail inquiry nor telephone call will create an attorney-client relationship. E-mails cannot necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. Only entering into a written legal services contract with the Law Offices of Kevin R. Madison, P.C. will create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for one-on-one legal advice and you are urged to meet with an attorney and discuss your case, personally, with an attorney in the state in which you reside or your case occurred. Thank you. Kevin R. Madison. Visit our website at www.kevinmadison.com and www.texassexualharassmentattorney.com. Kevin Madison, Austin, Texas- representing injured persons in motor vehicle collision, truck and motorcucle accidents and representing victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, physical assaults, and representing victims of sexual exploitation committed by doctors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, counselors, priests, and rabbis. Visit our sexual harassment/sexual exploitation blog at http://texassexualharassmentattorney.com/blog/

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