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Tamko Roofing Prods., Inc. v. Smith Eng'g Co.

ELR Citation: 36 ELR 20112
Nos. No. 04-3913, (8th Cir., 06/16/2006)

The court upholds a lower court decision refusing to hold a manufacturer of pollution control devices liable for the actions of one of its subsidiaries. A company who purchased pollution control devices from the subsidiary filed suit after the devices didn't perform as promised. It also filed suit against the manufacturer, seeking to pierce the corporate veil. But the district court found that the company had failed to satisfy the "unity of interest and ownership" requirement of California alter ego law, and accordingly, had failed to overcome the presumption in favor of preserving the separate identities of the manufacturer and its subsidiary. Because the lower court did not err or abuse its discretion in refusing to pierce the corporate veil, and because the company failed to present evidence from which the appellate court could have found that "an inequitable result will follow" from the lower court's refusal to pierce the subsidiary's corporate veil, the lower court decision is affirmed. The lower court's decisions to dismiss the company's tortious interference with a contract and prima facie tort claims against the manufacturer are also affirmed.