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Tag Archives: Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Corporate — Director & Shareholder – Civil Practice – Ripeness – Domestic Relations – Equitable Distribution Action (access required)

Happy Times Discount Beverage, Inc. v. Podrebarac (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-007-15, 9 pp.) (J. Michelle Childs, J.) 0:14-cv-00129; D.S.C. Holding: Although there is ongoing equitable distribution litigation between defendant and plaintiff’s other shareholder, defendant still maintains that she is a ...

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Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Trusts & Estates – Banks & Banking – Collateral Call (access required)

Mozingo v. Wells Fargo Bank In its role as a trustee of plaintiff’s trust, the defendant-bank allegedly gave plaintiff advice in April 2008 about a contract that plaintiff then signed in June 2008. Since plaintiff terminated the bank’s role as trustee in May 2008, the bank’s April 2008 advice about the June 2008 contract cannot serve as the basis for plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claim.

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Insurance – Life – Labor & Employment – ERISA – Equitable Relief – Breach of Fiduciary Duty (access required)

McCravy v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. A bank employee who paid for life insurance for her daughter through her employee benefit plan, but who was denied insurance benefits when her 25-year-old daughter died, has her claim for “equitable relief” for the insurance carrier’s breach of fiduciary duty reconsidered by the 4th Circuit, in light of CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011).

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Real Property – Partnership – Trusts & Estates – Promissory Notes – Evidence – Dead Man’s Statute – Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty (access required)

Nandwani v. Queens Inn Motel Since mortgages are real property, after the beneficiary of promissory notes secured by mortgages died, his heirs could immediately assign the promissory notes. They did not have to wait until the estate was probated under the intestacy statute. We modify and affirm the special referee’s decision.

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Trusts & Estates – Real Property – Qualified Personal Residence Trust – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Impractical Legal Remedy – Laches (access required)

Eldridge v. Eldridge Where the legal remedy in this case would require a trust to serve as both plaintiff and a source of damages, the legal remedy would be impractical. We reverse the master-in-equity’s ruling that the defendant-widow gets to keep a Hilton Head condominium that she shared with her husband, who was also plaintiffs’ father.

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Trusts & Estates – Inter Vivos Transfers – Power of Attorney – No Gifting Provision – Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Conversion (access required)

Gordon v. Busbee Where the wife’s power of attorney did not contain a gift-giving provision, and where the record contains no written evidence of her authorization for her husband/attorney-in-fact to make the transfers he did, the trial court erred in failing to direct a verdict for the wife’s heirs as to any transactions involving the husband’s taking funds that were undisputedly the wife’s and transferring them into a fund solely owned by him. We affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motions.

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Labor & Employment – Union Pension Plan – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Damages & Fee Award Vacated (access required)

Plasterers’ Local Union No. 96 v. Pepper Although former trustees of a plasterers’ union pension plan breached their ERISA fiduciary duty by failing to investigate plan investment options and using only certificates of deposit and Treasury bills for a 10-year period, the district court erred in assessing damages against the former trustees without first determining whether the actual investments were imprudent, and the 4th Circuit vacates the judgment in favor of the current plan trustees.

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Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Insurance Agent – Failure to Advise – Damages – Questions Certified (access required)

RS Services of North America, LLC v. Boyles Moak Brickell Marchetti Insurance, Inc. While the plaintiff-customer did not take the defendant-insurance agency’s advice every time, the customer presented sufficient evidence of the parties’ course of dealing to prove the agency had a fiduciary duty to the customer. The parties’ post-trial motions are denied. Three questions are certified to the S.C. Supreme Court.

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Trusts & Estates – Inter Vivos Transfers – Power of Attorney – No Gifting Provision – Tort/Negligence – Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Conversion (access required)

Gordon v. Busbee Where the wife’s power of attorney did not contain a gift-giving provision, and where the record contains no written evidence of her authorization for her husband/attorney-in-fact to make the transfers he did, the trial court erred in failing to direct a verdict for the wife’s heirs as to any transactions involving the husband’s taking funds that were undisputedly the wife’s and transferring them into a fund solely owned by him. We affirm in part and reverse in part the trial court’s denial of plaintiffs’ motions.

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