What to do if my company is being sued by mistake?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if my company is being sued by mistake?

And by mistake i mean I have a trucking company that is open/active, but is not registered to legally operate on the roads of the US since it does not have MC and DOT, no vehicles ever been registered on this company and i never had drivers/employees working for this company either. Recently I received a summons stating that my company has been involved in an accident resulting in damages and that my driverwho i never knew and never had an employeecaused it. Can I counter sue for being wrongfully accused and for defamation, or what would i do at this point? The attorney either mixed similar names of the company or something.Thank you.

Asked on June 9, 2017 under Accident Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't countersue for defamation or frivolous litigation so long as they correct their mistake: file a formal court answer to the complaint (you can get information, instructions, even sample forms from the court) which recites and includes support (e.g. documents) for what you have put in your question,showing they have the wrong party. After filing the answer--which you need to do to be safe, since a failure to answer can result in losing by "default" even if you have  perfect defense--send a registered letter to the law firm stating unless they voluntarily dismiss their complaint "with prejudice" (i.e. so they can't bring it again), you will seek sanctions for frivolous litigation and file counterclaims against their client as permitted by law, such as defamation and/or abuse of process. Then if they don't withdraw the complaint, do so. An initial good faith mistake in litigation does not result in liability: but persisting in a wholly baseless claim can.
You would be best off retaining an attorney to help you with this, and, in fact MUST have a lawyer if your business is an LLC or corporation: a non-lawyer may not represent LLCs or corporations, even ones of which they are the majority or even sole owner.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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