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Contractors, Laborers, Teamsters & Eng'rs Health & Welfare Benefit Plan v. Internal Revenue Serv. (In re M & S Grading, Inc.), Ch. 7, BK02-81632-TJM, A09-8056-TJM (Apr. 9, 2010)

The plaintiffs, who held a claim against the bankruptcy estate for unpaid ERISA plan payments, filed this adversary proceeding against the IRS, which held an administrative expense claim for post-petition payroll taxes, to make the IRS establish that it actually held an administrative claim and, if it did, then to use equitable estoppel or equitable subordination to move the plaintiffs’ claim ahead of the IRS. The court denied the IRS’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, saying “[w]hile the plaintiffs bear ‘a heavy burden’ in bringing forth sufficient facts to convince this court that the conduct of the IRS should lead to equitable subordination or equitable estoppel of its claim, the allegations in the complaint are sufficient ‘to raise a right to relief above a speculative level’ and survive a motion to dismiss on those causes of action. However, the existence of the IRS’s administrative claim is not open to challenge; the only matter to be decided in this case is how the available funds will be apportioned between these two claimants.”

Friday, April 9, 2010
Judge Timothy J. Mahoney (Retired)