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Scalia v. Reliance Trust Co.

In an evolving ESOP case, court says DOL’s allegations that ESOP trustee and various directors engaged in breaches of fiduciary duties and caused the ESOP to enter a prohibited transaction (i.e., overpaid for company stock) require “fact-intensive inquiry” and cannot be resolved on summary judgment.

Court Says DOL Claims in ESOP Case Require ‘Fact-Intensive Inquiry’ and Denies Motions for Summary Judgment

In an evolving ESOP case, court says DOL’s allegations that ESOP trustee and various directors engaged in breaches of fiduciary duties and caused the ESOP to enter a prohibited transaction (i.e., overpaid for company stock) require “fact-intensive inquiry” and cannot be resolved on summary judgment.

BVU News and Trends January 2021

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Vinoskey reply brief refutes DOL’s stock value and control claims

Argument continues in the contentious Vinoskey ESOP litigation, which is now in the 4th Circuit where the remaining defendant, Adam Vinoskey, has appealed the district court’s liability and damages findings.

BVU News and Trends December 2020

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

DOL appellate brief pushes back in Vinoskey ESOP litigation

Neither side is letting up in the contentious Vinoskey ESOP litigation that has now moved to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

ESOPs: good for employees but facing an uncertain future

A recent article in the New York Times extols the virtues of employee ownership through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).

Lysengen v. Argent Trust Co.

ESOP plaintiff’s proposed class action against trustee and selling shareholders survives motion to dismiss; court says complaint gave enough facts to support claims of overpayment and breach of fiduciary duty; defendant must show disputed transaction falls into adequate consideration exemption.

ESOP Plaintiff’s Proposed Class Action Alleging Overpayment Survives Motion to Dismiss

ESOP plaintiff’s proposed class action against trustee and selling shareholders survives motion to dismiss; court says complaint gave enough facts to support claims of overpayment and breach of fiduciary duty; defendant must show disputed transaction falls into adequate consideration exemption.

ASA, supporting Vinoskey ESOP appeal, aims to correct BV ‘misstatements’

The ASA recently filed an amicus brief in support of the Vinoskey appeal, in which it claims the district court, in ruling against the ESOP trustee and the owner and selling shareholder, Adam Vinoskey, made numerous valuation-related misstatements that required correction.

Defendant in Vinoskey ESOP case files appeal with 4th Circuit

In the contentious Vinoskey ESOP case, one of the defendants, the owner and selling shareholder, Adam Vinoskey, recently appealed the district court’s finding that he was liable for knowingly participating in the trustee defendant’s ERISA violations and was a co-fiduciary for the trustee’s breaches of fiduciary duties.

Attack on DOL’s ability to seek monetary damages in Vinoskey ESOP case fails

In the contentious Vinoskey ESOP case, the trustee recently asked for a new trial, arguing the Secretary of Labor, representing the plaintiff, lacked the statutory authority to seek monetary damages on behalf of the ESOP and the court lacked the authority to hear this claim.

Trustee’s Post-Trial Attack on DOL’s Pursuit of Monetary Relief on Plan’s Behalf Crumbles

District court denies trustee’s motion for a new trial based on argument that Secretary of Labor lacked authority to pursue monetary relief against defendants; court says the plain language of the statute on which the DOL’s claims are based allows secretary to obtain damages on behalf of the ESOP.

Pizzella v. Vinoskey (II)

District court denies trustee’s motion for a new trial based on argument that Secretary of Labor lacked authority to pursue monetary relief against defendants; court says the plain language of the statute on which the DOL’s claims are based allows secretary to obtain damages on behalf of the ESOP.

Novel issue of law raised in ESOP case that pits trustee against appraiser

A fairly routine ESOP case that is being litigated in the 4th Circuit has raised a novel legal issue in this jurisdiction as to the financial liability of co-fiduciaries and nonfiduciaries, including the ESOP appraiser.

BVU News and Trends October 2019

A monthly roundup of key developments of interest to business valuation experts.

Court whittles down damages in Vinoskey ESOP case

The trial court recently unequivocally sided with the Department of Labor in its liability findings against the defendants in the Vinoskey ESOP case, but the court made adjustments to the DOL’s damages calculation that reduced the liability to the defendants considerably.

Trial court favors DOL in Vinoskey ESOP trial

In the closely watched Vinoskey ESOP litigation, the trial court recently issued a long decision that found all the defendants liable.

Expert comments on Vinoskey ESOP ruling

ESOP appraisers are questioning the technical aspects of the Vinoskey and Brundle rulings and asking what the recent rulings may mean for the future of employee ownership plans.

Strong win for DOL in Vinoskey ESOP trial

Difficult times for the ESOP community.

Remy v. Lubbock Nat’l Bank

In ESOP case, court finds ERISA provides for right to contribution among co-fiduciaries but finds trustee defendant has no right to contribution from nonfiduciary ESOP appraiser if trustee were found liable to ESOP for losses; court dismisses third-party complaint against ESOP appraiser.

Trustee’s Claim for Contribution Against ESOP Appraiser Collapses

In ESOP case, court finds ERISA provides for right to contribution among co-fiduciaries but finds trustee defendant has no right to contribution from nonfiduciary ESOP appraiser if trustee were found liable to ESOP for losses; court dismisses third-party complaint against ESOP appraiser.

DOL Prevails on All Claims Against ESOP Trustee and Owner/Seller

Trial court finds ESOP trustee liable for causing plan to overpay for company stock; trustee failed to adequately respond to red flags in ESOP appraisal and did not act solely in the interest of ESOP, court says; owner is liable for accepting price he knew to be above stock’s fair market value.

Pizzella v. Vinoskey (I)

Trial court finds ESOP trustee liable for causing plan to overpay for company stock; trustee failed to adequately respond to red flags in ESOP appraisal and did not act solely in the interest of ESOP, court says; owner is liable for accepting price he knew to be above stock’s fair market value.

Brundle v. Wilmington Trust N.A. (III)

In key ESOP case, 4th Circuit affirms liability and damages findings against ESOP trustee; court says trustee’s reliance on ESOP appraiser’s contemporaneous valuation was not “reasonably justified”; district court used correct measure of damages and justifiable methodology, 4th Circuit finds.

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