Brigid Lynn

Document Type

Research Memorandum

Publication Date




Under 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(1), “bankruptcy judges may hear and determine all cases under title 11 and all core proceedings arising under title 11.” Core proceedings are those concerning the administration of an estate and the confirmation of plans, among others listed in the statute. However, not considered core proceedings are those regarding “the liquidation or estimation of contingent or unliquidated personal injury tort . . . claims against the estate for purposes of distribution in a case under title 11.” Personal injury tort claims are instead reserved for the district court in which the bankruptcy case is pending or the district court in the district where the claim arose. Because personal injury tort claims are non-core proceedings, the bankruptcy courts may submit findings of fact and conclusions of law to the district court for review and the issuance of a final judgment. This article will discuss the three interpretations of the “personal injury tort” exception to 28 U.S.C. § 157 and how these interpretations impact claims for non-traditional torts like defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”), as well as the allowability of these claims.


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