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Frederick v. Merz

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A-12-0665, David L. Frederick and Carol Frederick, husband and wife, and Doglas E. Merz, on behalf of Salem Grain Company Inc., a Nebraska Corporation (Appellants) v. Mary Merz, Bruce Merz, William R. Duey, and Kay Richter (Cross-Appellants)

District Court for Richardson County, District Judge Daniel E. Bryan, Jr.

Attorneys for Appellants:  J.L. Spray & Patricia L. Vannoy (Mattson Ricketts Law Firm)

Attorneys for Appellees/Cross-Appellants:  Terry Dougherty & Kari A. F. Scheer (Woods Aitken Law Firm)

Civil Action:  Breaches of corporate fiduciary duty and loyalty to corporation, tortious interference with a business relationship and expectancy

Action taken by the Trial Court:  The trial court directed a verdict in favor of the appellees/cross-appellants. The court found that they had breached their fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty, but it found no resulting damages. The court found no evidence to support the tortious interference claim.

Assignments of Error on Appeal:  Did the trial court err in granting the appellees’ motion for a directed verdict? Did the trial court err in holding that the appellants did not prove damages? Did the trial court err in speculating how a board of directors would prospectively act and calculating its damages accordingly? Did the trial court err in holding that there was not sufficient evidence to support a cause of action for tortious interference of a business relationship or expectancy by finding there was no third party interference in the Company’s expectancy, that the Company had no expectancy, and that there was no unjustified intentional interference? Did the trial court err in finding that the appellants could not recover in their individual capacities on their tortious interference claim?

Assignment of Error on Cross-Appeal:  Did the trial court err when it held that the appellants produced sufficient evidence to find that the appellees breached their fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty to Salem Grain and its directors and shareholders?

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