Debtor’s Taking of a Car from Employer Without Permission and then Crashing it was Not a Willful and Malicious Injury under §523(a)(6)

Debtor’s Taking of a Car from Employer Without Permission and then Crashing it was Not a Willful and Malicious Injury under §523(a)(6)

Plaintiff is a car dealership and Debtor was its employee. One day, concerned that her personal vehicle was not safe to drive, Debtor drove home from work in one of Plaintiff’s vehicles, a 2016 Subaru, without permission or knowledge of anyone at Plaintiff. The next morning, while driving the Subaru with her two minor children inside, Debtor rear-ended another car and caused a multi-car pileup. The Subaru was totaled. Approximately seven months later, on July 14, 2016, Debtor filed a chapter  bankruptcy petition. While her chapter 7 case was pending, Debtor was charged in County Circuit Court with unauthorized use of a vehicle pursuant to state law, a felony.  Debtor entered a guilty plea, and on December 8, 2016, the County Circuit Court ordered her to pay restitution for the Subaru. Plaintiff timely filed its complaint in this Court, objecting to the dischargeability of Debtor’s debt to it pursuant to section 523(a)(6). The Court now turns to the merits of Plaintiff’s complaint and its pending motions.

In this adversary proceeding, Plaintiff is seeking a ruling that the debt the Debtor owes it is excepted from her discharge. In addition, Plaintiff now requests leave to amend its complaint to add a count under section 727 to deny Debtor’s entire discharge, and further asks this Court to dismiss the bankruptcy case under section 707.

The Court initially took up the Motion to Dismiss based on 11 USC 707 and found no basis for the Motion. The Court also denied the Plaintff’s action under 727.

Finally, the Court considered the Plaintiff’s count under 11 USC 523(a)(6).

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