JURY RETURNS DEFENSE VERDICT FOR HHDU CLIENT IN MULTIMILLION DOLLAR BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY TRIAL
HHDU’s litigation team led by Jim Drakeley and Scott Seifert won a complete defense verdict for its corporate officer client sued for breach of fiduciary duty and self-dealing. The HHDU team prevailed after a six day trial in the 134th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas.
The Plaintiffs alleged that HHDU’s client breached fiduciary duties owed while serving as the Chief Restructuring Officer and investment banker concerning the sale of the company. The Plaintiffs requested damages of approximately eight million dollars, plus punitive damages.
The case was particularly challenging to defend due to the Court ruling that the defendant was a formal fiduciary to one of the Plaintiffs. However, the jury determined that there was no relationship of trust and confidence between the Plaintiff and the Defendant. The burden of proof shifted to HHDU’s client once the fiduciary duty status was determined by the Court, leaving the trial team the significant challenge to convince the jury that the transaction at issue was both fair and equitable to the Plaintiffs.
Upon announcement of the jury’s verdict, HHDU’s client and his wife and daughters were visibly moved. Mr. Drakeley said the case was hard fought. He and Mr. Seifert were very pleased with the extensive trial preparation performed by the entire HHDU trial team, which included significant contributions from Board Certified Appellate attorney Kevin Keith and associate Laurie Patton.
Following trial, the Plaintiffs filed a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict which the Court denied and entered final judgment on December 6, 2014, upholding the jury’s verdict.