Breach of Duty

News & Analysis as of

Dead Man Talking

When there’s a suit involving someone’s estate, can you get into evidence a hearsay statement by the person who has died? If the statement falls under this exception to the hearsay rule, the dead person may have his or her...more

Are A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty And A Breach Of Governing Documents “Non Bis In Idem”?

Last week, I discussed the Court of Appeal’s consideration of whether the business judgment rule protects a director from claims based on breach of the corporation’s governing documents. See Does The Business Judgment Rule...more

Maryland Court of Special Appeals Reaffirms Heightened Standard for Recovering Punitive Damages

On June 1, 2016, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland issued an opinion in 1st Team Fitness, LLC, et al. v. Francesco Illiano, No. 0136, Sept. Term 2015 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Jun. 1, 2016) reaffirming Maryland’s heightened...more

Court Reverses Decision On The Fair Market Value Of A Residence Due To The Surviving Spouse’s Interest

In Estate of Sloan, a wife died leaving her home, and her husband was the executor of her estate. No. 02-15-00198-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6465 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 16, 2016, no pet. history). The wife’s will left all...more

Court Holds That An Officer Of A General Partner Does Not Individually Owe Fiduciary Duties To The Partnership

In Rainier Income Fund I v. Gans, two limited partnerships sued an individual, who was the president of the general partner of the partnerships and co-owner of the only other limited partner, for breaching fiduciary duties...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Duty of Loyalty: Anything But ‘Hazy Jurisprudence’ on an Exacting, But Narrow, Standard

In a recent decision out of the Delaware Court of Chancery—In re Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. Stockholders Litigation., Consol. C.A. No. 9640-VCG—Vice Chancellor Glasscock was faced with a claim that the board of...more

Court Orders Cigna to Pay Out-of-Network Surgical Claims

On June 1, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered Cigna to pay nearly $13.7 million to Humble Surgical Hospital, LLC (“Humble”). Of the nearly $13.7 million, almost $11.4 million...more

Saffer Fee Shifting and Fee Disgorgement - Who is at Risk?

Twenty years ago, in Saffer v. Willoughby, the New Jersey Supreme Court embarked on a new path for New Jersey jurisprudence by allowing a successful plaintiff in a legal malpractice action to recover as consequential damages...more

Exceptional Plan Governance: Beat Back the Coming Litigation Onslaught

It was bound to happen. For several years, the plaintiffs’ bar has sued fiduciaries of large 401(k) plans asserting breach of their duties under ERISA by failing to exercise requisite prudence in permitting excessive...more

When Steak and a Massage Equals Insider Trading

Is “wine, steak, and visits to a massage parlor” a quid pro quo personal benefit which, if received in conjunction the dissemination of material, non-public information, is sufficient to establish a breach of duty for illegal...more

Court Affirms Finding Of Informal Fiduciary Relationship Between Step-Mother and Step-Son Based On Decision To Not Resuscitate...

In Shearer v. Shearer, Corrine and John were married from 1990 until 2008. No. 12-14-00302-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5685 (Tex. App.—Tyler May 27, 2016, no pet. history). John became ill in 2009 and was admitted to a hospital...more

Disregard of Speculative Financial Projections Was Not Bad Faith

In a stockholder challenge to a sale of the company, a plaintiff may rebut the business judgment rule by pleading facts that support a reasonable inference that at least half of the directors, who approved the sale, were not...more

Missouri Bank Hit for Punitive Damages & Found Liable for Fiduciary’s Misappropriation of Funds

In Delarosa v. Farmer's State Bank, the Missouri Court of Appeals, W.D., expounded upon the duty imposed upon Missouri Banks under § 469.270 of the Missouri's Uniform Fiduciaries Law ("UFL"). Specifically, the court addressed...more

401(k) Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries Face an Alarming Number of Stable Value Fund and Other Class Action Lawsuits

In the last several months, plaintiffs have filed multiple class action lawsuits against plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and stable value fund providers. These lawsuits, which have involved 401(k) plans sponsored by large...more

Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

A Minneapolis law firm recently filed a class action complaint against Lamettry’s Collision, Inc. and the Trustees of its 401(k) Plan, CFO Stephen Daniel and President Joan Lamettry for various breaches of fiduciary duty with...more

The Tennessee Business Court Tackles Privilege Claims

The Tennessee Business Court has provided additional guidance to commercial litigators concerning internecine legal battles between members of limited liability companies. The Court has determined the fiduciary duties of...more

Wine, Steak, and Massage Parlors Are Personal Benefits for Insider Trading

On May 26, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that friends’ gifts of wine, steak dinners, and other luxury items can constitute the types of personal benefit needed to establish a breach of duty in...more

CardiAQ Wins $70 Million in Trade Secrets Suit

A federal jury found in favor of CardiAQ in a lawsuit filed against former service provider, Neovasc. The jury found that Neovasc breached the non-disclosure agreement between the parties, misappropriated CardiAQ’s trade...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

Use of Company Policies To Establish The Violation of A Fiduciary Duty

Plaintiffs often seek discovery on a financial institution’s policies and procedures with an eye towards using that evidence against the institution. If a financial institution’s representative or representatives did not live...more

It Happened, It Happened: Small 401(k) Plan Sued

I love boxing and one of my favorite fights is when George Foreman shocked the world and knocked out Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion at age 45. Jim Lampley doing the HBO broadcast proclaimed: “it happened! It...more

Misconduct Remedies Against an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

In a prior blog post, I discussed the duties of an agent under a power of attorney. In this blog post, I discuss the remedies that people have against an agent under a power of attorney when the agent commits misconduct....more

Delaware Chancery Court Dismisses Challenge to MLP Drop Down Transaction

The Delaware Chancery Court recently dismissed a challenge to a transaction in which a master limited partnership (the "MLP") repurchased an interest in a crude oil pipeline in 2015 previously sold to its general partner (the...more

"Recent Delaware Cases Clarify Existing Limits and Adopt Novel Condition in Books-and-Records Demands"

Recent Delaware cases have helped clarify the limits of what the Court of Chancery will consider in a books-and-records demand under 8 Del. C. § 220, and one case has adopted a novel condition that defendants may seek to...more

"Delaware Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Aiding-and-Abetting Liability for Financial Advisors"

On November 30, 2015, the Delaware Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated opinion in RBC Capital Markets, LLC v. Jervis, No. 140, 2015, 129 A.3d 816 (Del. 2015). The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s...more

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