What is a successor company’s responsibility to honor the contract of the previous entity?

My wife visited an orthodontist 6 years ago for a consult regarding invisible braces. She’s always wanted to get her teeth straightened out. Eager and easily sold she paid in full on her first visit. Nearly $4,000 via healthcare loan.Unfortunately due to some personal circumstances, she was never able to receive the treatment she paid for. Now 6 years later she’s ready to revisit this. Since then, the company has exchanged hands a few times and has new owners. I’ve contacted them and they are not willing to accept full responsibility of the previous owners and are unable to get in touch with the previous owner but have offered some discount for treatment. Is this company legally responsible?

Asked on August 14, 2014 under Business Law, California


Michael Goldstein / Goldstein and Clegg

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The statute of limitations on breach of contract is 6 years from the date of the breach, so that may be a hurdle you need to overcome.  With that said, you should review the contact or fee agreement signed.  It is also important to note, whether the new orthodontist simply purchased the assets of the previous one or the entire business.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.