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Brown v. Kleen Kut Manuf. Co.

238 Kan. 642 (1986)

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Brown v. Kleen Kut Manuf. Co.

Kansas Supreme Court

238 Kan. 642 (1986)

Facts

Eddie M. Brown, Jr. (plaintiff) was working at a restaurant in Kansas on July 23, 1976, when he severely injured his hand grinding meat, requiring amputation of his hand. At the time of his injury, Brown was using a meat grinder manufactured before 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, by Kleen Kut Manufacturing Company (Kleen Kut) (defendant), an Ohio corporation. In 1955 Toledo Scale Corporation (Toledo Scale) (defendant), another Ohio corporation, purchased Kleen Kut’s assets under a contract executed in Ohio. Toledo Scale paid adequate consideration, did not purchase Kleen Kut’s stock, and did not assume Kleen Kut’s liabilities, and there was no continuity of ownership. Kleen Kut was dissolved in 1956. Toledo Scale merged into Reliance Electric and Engineering Company (defendant), an Ohio corporation, in 1967, and that company merged into Reliance Electric Company (defendant), another Ohio corporation, in 1969. Brown filed a tort suit against Kleen Kut, Toledo Scale, Reliance Electric and Engineering Company, and Reliance Electric Company in 1978, asserting they were strictly liable for his injuries. The trial court granted Kleen Kut’s motion to dismiss, holding that under Ohio law an action could not be maintained against a dissolved corporation such a long time after the corporation’s dissolution. Toledo Scale, Reliance Electric and Engineering Company, and Reliance Electric Company (collectively, the Kleen Kut successor corporations) moved for summary judgment, arguing that they could not be liable for Brown’s injuries as successor corporations. The trial court granted the Kleen Kut successor corporations’ motion. Brown appealed, arguing that the trial court applied law from the wrong jurisdiction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Herd, J.)

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