Cooney v. Osgood Machinery, Inc.
New York Court of Appeals
81 N.Y.2d 66, 595 N.Y.S.2d 919, 612 N.E.2d 277 (1993)
Dennis J. Cooney (plaintiff), a Missouri resident, sued Osgood Machinery, Inc. (defendant), a New York corporation, in a New York state court for products liability to recover damages for injuries Cooney suffered when he was injured while operating a machine that was originally sold by Osgood to American Standards Inc., a New York company. At the time of his injury, Cooney was working for Paul Mueller Co., a Missouri domiciliary. Before the products-liability suit, Cooney filed for and received workers’-compensation benefits from Mueller. Under Missouri law, this was Cooney’s exclusive remedy against Mueller. In response to Cooney’s products-liability suit against Osgood, Osgood filed a third-party complaint for contribution against numerous alleged joint tortfeasors, including Mueller. New York law would allow the contribution claim against Mueller, but it would not be allowed under Missouri law. Mueller moved to have the contribution claim against it dismissed as contrary to Missouri law. The New York trial court determined that New York law applied and did not dismiss the contribution claim against Mueller. Mueller appealed, and the appellate court reversed and dismissed the contribution claim against Mueller. Osgood appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kaye, C.J.)
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