New York, NY (July 23, 2010) Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that it has secured an appellate victory for two major Chinese state-owned enterprises, China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Co. ("Tuhsu") and its corporate parent, China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Co. ("COFCO"). The victory before the Pennsylvania Superior Court marks the conclusion of long-running enforcement proceedings related to a fifteen-year old product liability case brought in a Pennsylvania state court.
The case, in which the plaintiff claimed he was injured by defective fireworks, was filed in 1995, and the plaintiff ultimately obtained a multi-million dollar judgment against Tuhsu, which had not previously appeared in the case, by claiming that Tuhsu had manufactured the allegedly-defective shell. The plaintiff attempted to enforce this judgment against both Tuhsu and COFCO beginning in 2006. The Paul Hastings team quickly won dismissal of the enforcement writs filed against COFCO and later challenged the validity of the judgment itself on jurisdictional grounds.
Ultimately, the Paul Hastings team uncovered evidence - including Chinese customs records, decrees of the Chinese State Council and witness testimony - demonstrating that Tuhsu had not manufactured or sold the shell, leading the Pennsylvania court to vacate the judgment and dismiss the case against Tuhsu. The plaintiff appealed the order vacating the judgment to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which heard the case in March 2010, and which ultimately affirmed the trial courts judgment in all respects, specifically finding that the trial court properly found that Tuhsu had not played a role in the manufacture of the shell. The plaintiff did not seek further appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, meaning that the Superior Courts order is final. As a result, the judgment has been annulled, and the case finally dismissed as to Tuhsu.
James Berger, of counsel in the New York office, led the Paul Hastings team along with Asa Danes, Sarah Hagans, Victoria Ashworth, Kevin Broughel, Charlene Sun and Rebecca Borowitz.
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker is a leading global law firm with offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States. We provide innovative legal solutions to financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies. Please visit www.paulhastings.com for more information.