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Immigration Matter, Plus Accrual Test In Bankruptcy Case Overruled

By FindLaw Staff | Last updated on

Espinosa-Cortez v. US Attorney General, No. 08-4170, concerned a Colombian national's petition for review a BIA's affirmance of the IJ's denial of his application for asylum and related relief, on the ground that he had not shown that he would be persecuted on account of actual or imputed political beliefs if he were removed to Colombia.  In granting the petition, the court held that the BIA's conclusion that the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia's (FARC) threats were not centrally motivated by a political opinion the guerrillas imputed to petitioner is not supported by substantial evidence in the record.   

In In re: Grossman's Inc., No.09-1563, In Chapter 11 proceedings, the Third Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's affirmance of the Bankruptcy Court's holding that the plaintiffs' tort claims, arising from exposure to asbestos contained in home improvement products sold by the debtor, were not "claims" under 11 U.S.C. section 101(5).

In reversing the decision of the district court, the court first held that the Frenville accrual test is overruled as it imposes too narrow an interpretation of a "claim" under the Bankruptcy.  Next, the court held tha a "claim" arises when an individual is exposed pre-petition to a product or other conduct giving rise to an injury, which underlies a "right to payment" under the Bankruptcy Code, and here, plaintiffs' claims arose sometime in 1977, the date the plaintiff alleged that debtor's product exposed her to asbestos.  Thus on remand, the court stated that whether a particular claim has been discharged by a plan of reorganization depends on factors applicable to the particular case and is best determined by the appropriate bankruptcy court or the district court.  

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