Verdicts & Settlements · July 23, 2002
California Daily Journal
Meyer vs. Bye P.D.
(Case I.D. Confidential)
Result: July 23, 2002
O.C. Superior Court
HON Peter Smith
HON Randell L. Wilkinson
Topic: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Sub topic: Contracts
Jury verdict: Defense
Plaintiff- Keith Scheuer
Defendant – Philip W. Green, Green & Adams, LLP, Irvine
Defendant – Jeffrey S. Benice, Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Benice, Irvine
Facts: The plaintiff, Steven Meyer, was a twenty-five percent (25%) shareholder in Bye P.D. Corporation, which operated two (2) franchised fast-food chicken restaurants in Orange County, California. The defendants, Jon and Gary Brubaker, and their family trusts, owned the remaining seventy-five percent (75%) of Bye P.D. In November 1995, the plaintiff sued to dissolve the corporation, and for damages for breach of fiduciary duty and also for accounting. The parties stipulated that the case be tried by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter S. Smith.
Contentions: The Plaintiff contended that the individual defendants had frozen him out of the business and were improperly diverting its profits to themselves. The defendants denied any wrongdoing.
Other Information: A trifurcated bench trial commenced in October 1997. Judgment for the plaintiff, together with any order appointing a CPA to conduct an investigation into the accounting issues. In October 1999, the trial judge ordered that the defendant’s corporation be dissolved, and awarded the plaintiff $176,529 in compensatory damages and $142,500 in punitive damages, plus costs. On an appeal by the defendants, the case was remanded in order to recalculate certain aspects of the compensatory damages award. The case was settled during the remand proceedings.
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