In a case that reinforces the necessity of properly structuring an acquisition transaction to avoid also taking on unknown, and certainly unwanted, legacy liabilities, Johnson & Bell Attorney, Shana J. Scheid, successfully obtained dismissal of a product liability lawsuit seeking catastrophic damages. In this LaSalle County case, the plaintiff allegedly suffered a crushed hand injury while using an industrial press machine. The accident fully degloved the laborer’s dominant hand, resulting in partial amputation of his thumb, middle finger, index finger and wrist bones. Johnson & Bell’s client was a limited liability company that had acquired 100 percent of the assets of a corporate designer and installer of machine guard components. Its corporate predecessor had previously sold and installed the guard system and safety switch on the press machine. Scheid argued her client had a complete defense to plaintiff’s claim under the Illinois successor liability doctrine. That doctrine provides generally that a corporation which purchases only the assets of another corporation is not liable for the debts or liabilities of the transferor, unless one of four Illinois-recognized exceptions applies. After multiple hearings and defending the lengthy deposition of the member-manager of the limited liability company, Scheid convinced the LaSalle County circuit court, plaintiff’s counsel, and co-defendants that there was no good faith basis to maintain an action against her asset-purchaser client based upon the specific language in the asset purchase agreement, which excluded the transfer of tort liabilities, and the specific facts of the transaction, which demonstrated that there was no continuity of ownership.