Friday, November 22, 2013

Nissen Corp. v. Miller case brief

Nissen Corp. v. Miller case brief summary
594 A.2d 564 (1991)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner buyer corporation filed an application for a writ of certiorari and challenged a judgment from the Special Court of Appeals (Maryland). The appellate court reversed the trial court's decision to grant the buyer corporation's motion for summary judgment in respondent consumer's product liability action against the buyer corporation, the product seller, and respondent seller corporation.

CASE FACTS
The consumer was injured by a defective treadmill, which was manufacturer by the seller corporation. The seller corporation had sold its assets to the buyer corporation before the consumer's injuries occurred. The consumer then brought an action against the seller corporation (which was dissolved), the product seller, and the buyer corporation. When the trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the buyer corporation, the consumer and the product seller sought review. The appellate court reversed and the buyer corporation filed a petition for writ of certiorari.

DISCUSSION

  • The court granted the writ and reversed the appellate court's decision. 
  • The court declined to adopt the rule of continuity of enterprise because there was no causal relationship between the consumer and the buyer corporation. 
  • The court found that the buyer corporation was not a seller and bore no blame in bringing the product and the user together. 
  • The court decided to adhere to the general rule of nonliability of successor corporations, with its four traditional exceptions, in product liability cases.
CONCLUSION
The court granted the buyer corporation's petition for a writ of certiorari and reversed the appellate court's judgment, which reversed the trial court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the buyer corporation.

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