Apex Oil Co. v. U.S. (Supreme Court)

The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari with respect to U.S. v. Apex Oil Co., 579 F.3d 734 (C.A.7-Ill. 2009) in which the 7th Circuit held that an government injunction requiring Apex to clean up a contaminated site constituted a non-dischargeable debt as set out in the Bankruptcy Code.

By contrast, Apex argued that an injunction is not a “claim” under sec. 101(5)(B) because it is not a right to money damages arising from a breach of performance. Instead, claimed Apex, the injunctive claim was a demand on the Debtor barred by sec. 362, the Automatic Stay. In the alternative, said Apex,the claim was reducible to money damages and was therefore dischargeable. Finally, Apex argued that to consider an environmental clean-up order a nondischargeable claim would conflict with a line of Supreme Court cases starting with Ohio v. Kovacs, 469 U.S. 274, 105 S.Ct. 705, 83 L.Ed.2d 649 (1985).

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the matter and the holding of the 7th Cir. Stands.

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