Plaintiff’s Assertion of “L’état, c’est moi” Falls On Deaf Ears

A plaintiff will usually advance an alter ego claim against a defendant. When a plaintiff asserts an alter ego claim against itself, then you have a real “man bites dog” or perhaps a “man bites himself” case. Occasionally, however, a man does bite his best friend – maybe even to save his best friend as reported in this story.

In Opp v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 154 Cal. App. 4th 71 (2007), the plaintiff was a licensed building contractor who also happened to be president of a Montana corporation, Mountain Connection, Inc. (MCI). MCI signed a contract with a general contractor. After the general contractor filed for bankruptcy, MCI sued on a payment bond. The bonding company defended by claiming that MCI was an unlicensed contractor. Because that was apparently the case, the plaintiff, an individual, amended the complaint and tried to establish that “everyone involved . . . had treated MCI as an alter ego or a fictitious name under which appellant [the plaintiff below] did business.”

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