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Goodman v. Praxair, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
494 F.3d 458 (4th Cir. 2007)


Facts

Tracer Research Corp. (Tracer) allegedly breached a contract with Goodman (plaintiff). Subsequently, Tracer was purchased by Praxair Services, Inc. (Praxair Services) (defendant), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (Praxair) (defendant). Goodman brought suit against Praxair, alleging that it was the successor in interest to Tracer. Praxair filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that Praxair Services was the true successor in interest to Tracer. Upon seeing this, Goodman amended its complaint to include Praxair Services. However, the amendment came after the expiration of the statute of limitations. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations. The district court held that Goodman’s amended complaint did not relate back to the original complaint, in part because Goodman’s mistake of not including Praxair Services in the original complaint was not clerical or the result of mistaken identity, but rather due to a lack of knowledge and/or poor strategy. Goodman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Niemeyer, J.)

Concurrence (Gregory, J.)

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