Thursday, February 7, 2019

Case of the Day: Han v. Hankook Tire Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146315 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 28, 2018)


In a related case prior to this one, a Cayman asset management company sued a South Korean company and prevailed, only to have the judgment vacated on appeal by the Sixth Circuit Court on the grounds of lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as there was a lack of complete diversity because neither party was from the United States. In a new action, the individual plaintiff who is a citizen of Texas filed the same claim. The defendant moved to dismiss, noting that the plaintiff previously took the position that the Cayman company was an indispensable party in the related litigation. In response, the plaintiff argued that the Cayman company was now defunct and she was the real party in interest.

The court held judicial estoppel applied to the plaintiff's argument, and dismissed the case with prejudice.


It's not every day you see a judicial estoppel opinion, so the case is valuable in that regard alone. But there's this--I would love to know the full backstory to this litigation, because there must be something interesting and nefarious involved when a Cayman company was suing a South Korean conglomerate. (The previous litigation claimed Hankook Tires induced the Cayman company to engage in an illegal currency trading.)

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