Pielet v. Pielet

Pielet Brothers Scrap Iron and Metal, was founded Arthur Pielet and his brothers shortly after World War II. Arthur sold his interest to his sons in 1986 through an agreement providing for a lifetime payment to him of a “consulting” fee, and, on his death, for a lifetime fee payment to his wife, Dorothy. The agreement was binding on successors and assigns. In 1994, the then- successor company, P.B.S., dissolved, but payments to Arthur continued until 1998, when its successor, MM, had financial difficulties. It filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Litigation began. The trial court awarded Dorothy almost $2 million. In the appellate court, P.B.S. argued the traditional rule that a cause of action that accrued (1998) after dissolution (1994) cannot be brought against a dissolved corporation. The appellate court rejected the argument, holding that Dorothy’s claim could survive, but remanded for determination of whether the companies could be relieved of liability for the fee under a theory of novation. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that the claim of breach of contract against P.B.S. could not survive the corporate dissolution. The issue of novation is relevant as to two other successor corporations and required remand. View "Pielet v. Pielet" on Justia Law