Ann Groninger, along with Paige Kurtz, has written a paper on piercing the corporate veil, an important topic when bringing lawsuits against businesses. The paper is entitled “Behind the Shield: Piercing the Corporate Veil.”
Summary: So you finally have a great case against Big Corporation. You file your complaint and send in discovery requests. Somehow you learn that Big Corporation may not actually have the resources you thought it would – either employees are hearing rumors about shutting down or layoffs, or you receive balance sheets in discovery showing a bleak bottom line. Is it still worth pursuing the case? That remains to be seen, but there may be other places to look for money.
Although the corporate structure normally protects individual owners or related entities from liability, courts will look beyond the corporation if the corporation appears to be a farce. In the right circumstances, the court will disregard the corporate entity or “pierce the corporate veil.”