In this post, I continue my review of employment-law cases in which LinkedIn played a substantive role in determining the case’s outcome. In the first post in this series, I discussed Freire v. Keystone Title Settlement Services, in which the LinkedIn profile of the plaintiff’s manager was argued to constitute evidence that two entities should be considered a single, integrated enterprise. In this post, I look at a similar case involving successor liability.
2. Successor Liability
In Steinberg v. Young, the plaintiff had alleged breach of his employment contract. The claim went to arbitration and the plaintiff won. When he tried to collect on the judgment, though, he claimed that the defendant—the owner or majority shareholder of several corporate entities, including the one that had lost in arbitration—had been fraudulently transferring assets out of the various entities to defeat the plaintiff’s collection efforts.
The plaintiff pursued a claim in federal court on the basis of the state’s fraudulent-conveyances law and under a theory of successor liability. On the successor-liability claim, the court found that there was evidence to support that the defendant was the “mere continuation” of one of the corporate entities. In denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the court looked to the LinkedIn profiles of at least 5 employees of the original company who had continued with the successor company.
No. 09-11836, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31996, at *20-22 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 31, 2010).
Thus, unlike in the Freire decision reviewed in yesterday’s post, here the court found that evidence from LinkedIn did constitute evidence sufficient to show the legal relationship between two entities.