In re Sudderth, Case No. 04-63227, 2006 Bankr. LEXIS 1361 (April 3, 2006) (Massey)

Debtors moved to reopen their Chapter 7 case to list a state law tort claim as an asset of the estate.  The defendant in the tort action opposed on the grounds that the debtors deliberately omitted the claim from their schedules, and that allowing them to reopen the case would deprive the defendant of their defense of judicial estoppel. 

The court reopened the case and allowed the amendment based upon the potential value to the estate and its creditors, which is the primary factor.  The court noted that the defense of judicial estoppel was an issue for the state court.  The court also declined to rule on the defendant’s request that the debtors be estopped from claiming any excess funds from the estate after creditors are paid, as that issue may never need to be decided.