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Pennsylvania Counsel Obtains Summary Judgment on Successor Liability Issue, Affirmed on Appeal

Pittsburgh Counsel Amy Pohl recently secured summary judgment and affirmance on appeal on behalf of a corporate client in two separate cases that involved alleged successor liability for personal injury claims. Summary judgment by the trial court was affirmed by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and the opposing counsel’s petition for review was denied by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in favor of our client.

Both cases involved allegations that our client was a successor to all tort liabilities of a predecessor contactor that employed both Plaintiffs, including liabilities related to the Plaintiffs’ alleged personal injuries obtained from occupational exposures to asbestos during their employment with the contractor. Our Counsel, Amy Pohl, advocated the long-standing rule against successor liability under Pennsylvania Law, and further argued that successor liability could not be found through any piercing the corporate veil or enterprise-liability basis. The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County granted summary judgment in favor of our client, agreeing with Amy’s arguments that exceptions to Pennsylvania’s rule against successor liability did not apply.

On appeal and in a published opinion, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the trial court in favor of our client, again upholding the rule against successor liability under Pennsylvania Law, and rejecting the arguments by opposing counsel to disregard corporate distinctions and separateness under the facts of the case. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied Plaintiffs’ request for further appeal.

Amy has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of civil litigation matters. She has represented manufacturers, sellers, designers and contractors in defense of commercial claims, as well as toxic tort and products liability claims, including cases involving exposures to asbestos, silica, coal tar and lead.