If a corporation is sold, can an employee sue the new ownership for past trasgressions?

If you make a stock purchase of a corporation, can a disgruntled employee sue the new owners for anything that happened previous to the sale? Do the new owners take on all liability prior to the transaction?

Asked on October 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can't sue the *owners* of a corporation, past or present (i.e. new) for anything the corporation did. The *corporation* may be sued (assuming there are valid grounds for a lawsuit) for its actions or omissions, since when you buy a corporation, the corporate entity continues--i.e. the corporate legal "person" is still accountable for what it did. But the whole point of a corporation is to shield its owners from personal liability, so while the corporation may potentially be sued, the owners may not.


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.