IADC member Chris Kenney and his associate, Lindsay Burke, recently prevailed in a complex shareholder dispute after a three-week jury trial in the Business Litigation Session of Suffolk Superior Court in Boston, MA.
Their client was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a lucrative, but controversial, family-owned pharmaceutical business. The plaintiffs were the family’s two adult children, who claimed that the COO conspired with their parents to freeze the children out of the company. The COO replaced the plaintiffs on the company’s board of directors, terminated their employment, and removed them as officers of the company.
Chris and Lindsay argued that the COO was acting in good faith in the best interests of the company, that the termination of plaintiffs’ roles in the company was justified, and that the plaintiffs retained their equity positions in the company, which were made more valuable by the COO’s reasonable and necessary management decisions.
After three weeks of trial, Chris and Lindsay moved for a directed verdict. The court was considering the motion when plaintiffs abruptly and voluntarily dismissed all claims against our client with prejudice before our closing argument. The case then went to the jury against the remaining defendants and the plaintiffs won a $7.5 million verdict.
Chris Kenney is the managing partner of Kenney & Sams, P.C. in Boston, MA. He is President-Elect of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Director of the IADC's 2018 Trial Academy at Stanford University Law School. Mr. Kenney previously served a three year term on the DRI Board of Directors.