Estate of Walter E. Williams, Appellant (Third-Party Plaintiff),
BorgWarner Morse TEC Inc., et al., Appellees (Third-Party Defendants). Chuck Markey, Markey's Audio Visual, Inc., and D&E Enterprises, Plaintiffs,
George F. Kopetsky, Patricia A. Kopetsky, George F. Kopetsky Realty Corp., Walter E. Williams, Edward F. Frazier, John Bartkiewicz, Richard Clapper, and Ted Pollard, Defendants.
from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Timothy W.
Oakes, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49D02-0607-PL-28561
Attorneys for Appellant Donn H. Wray Glenn D. Bowman Marc A.
Menkveld Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC Indianapolis, Indiana
Attorneys for Appellee BorgWarner Morse TEC Inc. Richard S.
VanRheenen Tabitha L. Balzer Lewis Kappes, P.C. Indianapolis,
The Estate of Walter E. Williams (the "Estate")
appeals the trial court's entry of summary judgment in
favor of BorgWarner Morse TEC, Inc. ("Morse
TEC").The Estate raises one issue which we revise
and restate as whether the court erred in entering summary
judgment in favor of Morse TEC. We affirm.
and Procedural History
This case involves an Environmental Legal Action
("ELA") under Ind. Code §§ 13-30-9. In
the 1960s, George Kopetsky constructed a building to house a
laundromat and dry cleaning operation on property he owned at
2915 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (the
"Site"). Kopetsky purchased coin-operated washing
and dry cleaning machines and named the location Norge
Laundry & Dry Cleaning Village ("Norge
Village"). Kopetsky operated Norge Village until 1967
when he leased it to Edward Frazier, who operated it until
September 29, 1969, when Williams purchased the Site and
assumed Kopetsky's mortgage.
Williams operated Norge Village until May 1, 1974. He leased
the Site to others, including John Bartkiewicz and Richard
Clapper, who continued to operate Norge Village pursuant to a
lease agreement. At some point, Clapper withdrew from the
lease arrangement. In 1981, Norge Village ceased operation at
the Site and the machines were removed. On August 25, 1995,
Williams sold the Site to D&E Enterprises.
On July 12, 2006, Chuck Markey, Markey's Audio Visual,
Inc., and D&E Enterprises, Inc., filed a complaint
against Williams and others for environmental response costs,
attorney fees, and damages under Ind. Code §§
13-30-9 to recover the costs of remedial action involving
hazardous substances released into the soil and groundwater.
The complaint alleged that Markey was the owner of
Markey's Audio Visual, Inc., and D&E Enterprises,
Inc., and that D&E Enterprises, Inc., was the current
owner of the Site.
On April 30, 2008, Williams filed a third-party complaint
against "Borg-Warner Morse TEC Corporation."
Appellee's Appendix Volume 2 at 37. On March 25, 2010,
Williams amended its complaint, naming the defendants as
"Borg-Warner Corporation," "Borg-Warner
Corporation, as successor in interest to Norge
Corporation," Morse TEC, and Burns International
Services Company, LLC, ("Burns"). Id. at
44. The amended complaint stated in part:
3. . . . Norge Corporation is a corporation that does or has
existed, and conducted business in Indiana relating to its
sale and installation of dry cleaning equipment.
4. . . . Borg-Warner is a Delaware corporation that conducted
business in Indiana at all times relevant to this Complaint
through the sale of Norge brand dry cleaning equipment by its
5. . . . Borg-Warner is a successor in interest to the Norge
entity that conducted business in Indiana relating to the
sale and installation of Norge brand dry cleaning equipment.
6. . . . Morse TEC . . . conducted business at all times
relevant to this Third-Party Complaint through the sale of
Norge brand dry cleaning equipment by its Norge Division.
** * * *
10. . . . [George and Patricia Kopetsky] purchased Norge dry
cleaning equipment and other cleaning equipment
("Equipment") in the mid- to late- 1960s.
11. . . . [R]epresentatives of Norge installed some or all of
12. . . . Borg-Warner owned and operated the Norge division
from approximately 1929 until selling the Norge division . .
. on July 1, 1968.
13. . . . Morse TEC is the corporate successor in interest to
Borg-Warner that formerly owned and operated the Norge
division, including but not limited to the manufacture and
installation of [the ...