Being wrongfully sued, not our company

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Being wrongfully sued, not our company

About, 2 years ago, we purchased a part of a company inventory, website, customer list. We got a new tax id and slightly changed the company name. We had to set up new accounts with all the vendors the former owner was using. The former owner kept their tax ID and changed the name of their company. The former owner kept all receivables and payables and continued doing business under their new name. We are now being sued by one of the former owner vendors. This vendor went out of business and is suing for what it claims the former owner owes them. We have provided the vendor with our purchase sale agreement and shown how the former owner changed the name of their company, even providing our state’s documentation. Now the vendor lawyers want $5,000 for something we are not involved in stating it would avoid costly legal fees if this goes to court.How do we make this stop? Can we counter sue for wrongful suing?

Asked on July 6, 2016 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can countersue the other side for frivolous litigation, usually called a suit for wrongful (or malicious) use of process. You can also seek sanctions against  (that is, money from) their attorney for frivolous litigation. And you can file an ethical complaint against the lawyer. Try sending their attorney a letter, sent some way you can prove delivery (e.g. fedex with tracking; certified mail) reiterating (and sending copies of) the evidence that you are not responsible; reiterating the attempts you have made to resolve this amicably; and stating that if they do not dismiss their claim, you will countersue for malicious use of process, seeking monetary sanctions for their attorney for frivolous litigation; and file and ethical complaint. Give them ten (10) business days to comply; if they don't drop the suit in that time, then retain an attorney to defend you and countersue. In the meantime, if you have been served with the complaint, make sure you file an answer in time, so as to not lose by default (basically forfeiting, by not responding in time)--this may require you to retain an attorney sooner rather than later.


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