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Kraft can't be sued over injury at Nabisco subsidiary


HARRISBURG, Pa.—Kraft Foods Global Inc. can't be sued for damages by a Nabisco employee who was severely injured by cracker-cutting equipment, a Pennsylvania court ruled.

In a unanimous decision Monday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court said workers compensation was the exclusive remedy for Roque Soto, who lost his left arm and injured his right hand while operating a Ritz Cracker machine in 2007.

Mr. Soto began working at the Philadelphia bakery facility in 1999 or 2000, when the plant was owned by Nabisco Inc., according to court records. Nabisco was acquired by Kraft in 2001.

Mr. Soto sued Kraft for his injuries, arguing that the company has a "distinct and separate role" from Nabisco that makes it a liable third party in his case, records show. He also claimed that Kraft was liable because it was the successor to Nabisco, which made the machine that injured him.

The Pennsylvania court disagreed, saying Kraft does not have a "dual persona" from Nabisco, and that Kraft's liability did not change because of the Nabisco acquisition.

“To allow Appellant to sue Kraft, solely as the successor in interest to Nabisco, for third-party damages effectively enlarges Appellant's remedies as a result of the merger," the court wrote in rejecting the suit.

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