The Beasley Firm represented an individual who was a one-third owner of a marble and granite fabrication shop in a breach of contract case. Back in early 2006, our client entered into an agreement with three others whereby they would provide $1 million in funding and our client, with 30 years experience in the marble and granite industry, would build and then operate the entire fabrication shop. Once the shop was finished after two years of work, and was just starting to bring in business, the defendants forced him out and destroyed or concealed many of the relevant documents reflecting his ownership interests. The Beasley Firm and Max Kennerly joined in while discovery was ongoing, and through pretrial motions we were able to successfully defeat a number of their experts, to sharply limit negative evidence coming in about our claim, and we were able to eliminate so many of their witnesses on their breach of fiduciary duty counterclaim that they abandoned the claim on the first day of trial.
At trial, the defendants continued to deny that our client had any ownership interest, and claimed that he was offered an ownership interest if he had contributed more money. They also repeatedly said that he was incompetent, that he had caused more problems than he had provided benefits, and that he had a bad reputation in the marble community. We were able to show that our client had a great reputation, that the arguments about his incompetence were completely unfounded, and that the company today was worth between $27 million and $30 million. The defendants in turn brought in a business evaluator to claim the company was worth only $1.4 million.
In the end, the jury agreed that our client was a one-third owner of the company, and after nearly three days of deliberation reached a compromised verdict of $12.5 million as the value of the company. Thus, our client was awarded $4.2 million in damages. The jury also specifically rejected the defendants’ claims that our client had breached his agreement to build the factory and their claims for a set-off based on the inadequacy of his work, and instead found that our client had done everything he promised and that no settlement at all was warranted.
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