On September 9, 2021, New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, sided with The Cook Group in refusing to grant Lipsitz & Ponterio’s Motion for Leave in three collective appeals: Brenon, Schreiber, and Henderson. The Cook Group was originally successful in New York’s Fourth Department of the Appellate Division; there, the court unanimously affirmed the decision of Deborah Chimes (Erie County, NY), granting three motions to dismiss in favor of Special Electric Company, Inc. (“Special Electric”). Plaintiffs then sought leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals from the Fourth Department of the Appellate Division which, again siding with The Cook Group, the court denied. In their final avenue of appeal, plaintiffs sought leave to appeal from the Court of Appeals directly which, adopting the arguments advanced by The Cook Group in opposition, the court denied plaintiffs’ application.
The cases involved three plaintiffs who brought suit against Special Electric, a properly dissolved Wisconsin corporation. Wisconsin law plainly provides that claims against a dissolved corporation are barred unless the plaintiff brings an action within two years of publication of the company’s dissolution. Special Electric had dissolved and completed its publication requirements in 2014, rendering them immune from suit per the Wisconsin statute in 2016. Although appellants did not dispute that their suits were filed post-2016, they argued that New York courts should not apply the Wisconsin law as same violates New York public policy. Specifically, appellants adduced to New York Business Corporation Law Sections 1005 and 1006, which allow for suit against dissolved corporations in perpetuity.
This marks another win for The Cook Group’s growing appellate practice. Please let us know if you have any questions.