Justice Sherry Klein Heitler

Munaco Packing & Rubber (MPRSC), a South Carolina corporation, moved to dismiss the complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiffs argued the court had jurisdiction as MPRSC was the successor-in-interest to Munaco, a now-dissolved New York corporation (MPRNY), which manufactured asbestos-containing products. Plaintiffs sought to recover for personal injuries allegedly caused by Herlihy’s exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by MPRNY while working for Brooklyn Repair Company. The court noted so-called successor jurisdiction may be imputed where a corporation was a “mere continuation” of another company, or where there was a de facto merger between the entities. It found the totality of the facts strongly suggested MPRSC was a mere continuation of MPRNY, noting MPRSC manufactured, and sold the same goods and products as MPRNY to its same primary customer. Also, MPRSC employed six of MPRNY’s eight employees, used most of MPRNY’s equipment, and took MPRNY’s accounts receivable and payable, and pension funds. Thus, the relationship between MPRNY and MPRSC was such that the jurisdictional contacts of one could be deemed the jurisdictional contacts of the other, and dismissal was denied.