When Bankruptcy Benefits Criminals? Comparing O.J. And Casey.

After reading and considering my posts regarding legal issues in a Casey Anthony bankruptcy, an attorney sent me an email asking why O.J. did not file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He asks why would bankruptcy work for Casey if it did not work for O.J.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not permit the debtor to discharge damages caused by the willful and malicious injury by the debtor to another person. This is important for the debtor only if there is a person entitled to damages and who is willing to sue for damages. The law permits some relatives of a deceased person to sue the person who caused the death. A common example are relatives who sue for “wrongful death” related to medical malpractice or a car accident.

In the O.J. case there were relatives of Ron and Nicole who had no allegiance to O.J. and who were able to sue O.J. to recover damages on behalf of their deceased relatives. Ron’s parents and Nicoles’s sister sued O.J. for intentional harm O.J. caused Ron and Nicole. Bankruptcy would not have stopped these lawsuits. In Casey’s situation, there are no obvious candidates to sue on behalf of Kaylee. Casey’s parents might sue ( I don’t know that area of the law), but if they could sue they are probably not motivated to sue their daughter, and furthermore, they probably do not want subject themselves to another round of testimony and invasion of privacy. Also, what could they recover? O.J. , and ex-football star, had money; Casey is currently broke and future earnings are speculative.

For these reasons, Casey Anthony will file bankruptcy whereas O.J. Simpson would not have benefitted from bankruptcy. The attorney’s email raised an interesting question. Another example of why Casey Anthony poses a real-life bankruptcy





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