Seder & Chandler, LLP Retires Former Resident’s Successor Liability Claim
Worcester, MA – November 13, 2012 – In a summary judgment decision handed down on November 5, 2012, the Berkshire Superior Court agreed with Howard Stempler, Esq., of SederLaw, that Mr. Stempler’s client, a purchaser of the assets and certain liabilities of a “continuing care” retirement community, was not currently liable for the return of the substantial deposit given to the (subsequently bankrupt) seller by a former resident of the community who had resided at the community and had died prior to the asset purchase.
The Superior Court, based on the undisputed facts, Mr. Stempler’s memorandum of law, and oral argument, rejected several theories advanced by the plaintiff, including a successor corporate liability claim based on a “continuation of the enterprise” theory; liability under relevant statutes regulating continuing care retirement communities; and equitable theories of a “constructive trust” and “unjust enrichment”. The Superior Court acknowledged that the contract between the resident and the community might require the purchaser to repay the deposit under certain circumstances, but those circumstances had not yet arose and the lawsuit was premature. On that basis, the Superior Court entered an order allowing Mr. Stempler’s client summary judgment, without prejudice.