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Business Valuation Case Law Yearbook, 2023 Edition

January 2023 PDF, Softcover (195 pages)

BVR (editor)

Business Valuation Resources, LLC

The legal coverage and in-depth analysis from the BVR legal team including an Introduction by Jim Alerding, BVR Legal Editor delivers lessons learned to help appraisers reach better and more defensible valuation conclusions. The 2023 Yearbook illustrates how financial experts helped their side win (and lose) in the courtroom and includes 70 new cases were added to BVLaw in 2022.  Learn more >>

In re Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Litig.

A pharmaceuticals company sued its former CEO for, among other things, breach of contract and for a declaratory judgment establishing the contractual rights and obligations of the parties. This resulted in counterclaims by the former CEO, Michael Goldberg. Goldberg submitted for testimony of damages Terry Lee Orr, CPA. In this matter, the company sought to exclude Orr’s testimony and, absent his exclusion, to present their own expert, William F. Murray, CPA, as a rebuttal expert. Goldberg sought to exclude the testimony of Murray. The court excluded portions of Orr’s testimony and denied the exclusion of Murray as a rebuttal expert.

U.S. District Court Partially Excludes Witness in Securities Value Case and Allows Rebuttal Witness

A pharmaceuticals company sued its former CEO for, among other things, breach of contract and for a declaratory judgment establishing the contractual rights and obligations of the parties. This resulted in counterclaims by the former CEO, Michael Goldberg. Goldberg submitted for testimony of damages Terry Lee Orr, CPA. In this matter, the company sought to exclude Orr’s testimony and, absent his exclusion, to present their own expert, William F. Murray, CPA, as a rebuttal expert. Goldberg sought to exclude the testimony of Murray. The court excluded portions of Orr’s testimony and denied the exclusion of Murray as a rebuttal expert.

Redcell Corp. v. A.J. Trucco, Inc.

In this trade secrets and breach of contract case, portions of each expert’s testimony were found to be offering a factual narrative that is within the purview of a lay jury to ascertain. Those portions of testimony were excluded for both experts, but the parties’ arguments as to the qualifications of the experts and supposed reliance of an expert on the work of another were denied.

Parties' Motions to Exclude Each Other’s Experts Are Granted in Part and Denied in Part

In this trade secrets and breach of contract case, portions of each expert’s testimony were found to be offering a factual narrative that is within the purview of a lay jury to ascertain. Those portions of testimony were excluded for both experts, but the parties’ arguments as to the qualifications of the experts and supposed reliance of an expert on the work of another were denied.

Total Quality Logistics, LLC v. Tucker, Albin and Assocs.

An Ohio appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of a permanent injunction to the plaintiff because the evidence did not show that it faced immediate and irreparable injury or harm. It was also held that the trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for tortious interference because the plaintiff did not allege that the defendant induced a third party not to continue to do business with the plaintiff.

Ohio Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court’s Denial of Permanent Injunction and Dismisses a Claim of Tortious Interference

An Ohio appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of a permanent injunction to the plaintiff because the evidence did not show that it faced immediate and irreparable injury or harm. It was also held that the trial court properly dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for tortious interference because the plaintiff did not allege that the defendant induced a third party not to continue to do business with the plaintiff.

Experts in, lay witnesses out in damages case

In a Michigan case, there were a number of motions to exclude expert witnesses in a damages case that involved employee poaching in the automotive industry.

Auto Konnect, LLC v BMW of North America, LLC

The U.S. District Court (Michigan) denied motions to exclude the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s expert witnesses and granted motions from both parties to exclude “expert” testimony from lay witnesses. The case involved alleged breach of contract on the part of the defendants regarding raiding of the plaintiff’s employees, and damages related thereto.

U.S. District Court Denies Motions to Exclude Experts but Grants Motions to Exclude Lay Witnesses ‘Expert’ Testimony

The U.S. District Court (Michigan) denied motions to exclude the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s expert witnesses and granted motions from both parties to exclude “expert” testimony from lay witnesses. The case involved alleged breach of contract on the part of the defendants regarding raiding of the plaintiff’s employees, and damages related thereto.

A valuation trial—on papers only?

Yes, but only in New York?

Bougie v. Garth-Niggeman

The case originated at trial court on issues of the buyout of a deceased member’s interest in an LLC restaurant. Among the issues was the use of the LLC’s recipes by the acquirer of the deceased’s interest in violation of the operating agreement. The two remaining LLC members claimed the use of the LLC’s recipes in other restaurants irreparably harmed them. However, the remaining members did not seek, nor did they prove, any damages resulting from the use of the recipes. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of a permanent injunction against the use of the recipes.

Trial Court’s Denial of Permanent Injunctive Relief for Irreparable Harm Is Upheld

The case originated at trial court on issues of the buyout of a deceased member’s interest in an LLC restaurant. Among the issues was the use of the LLC’s recipes by the acquirer of the deceased’s interest in violation of the operating agreement. The two remaining LLC members claimed the use of the LLC’s recipes in other restaurants irreparably harmed them. However, the remaining members did not seek, nor did they prove, any damages resulting from the use of the recipes. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of a permanent injunction against the use of the recipes.

Quattro Parent LLC v. Rakib

In this surmised summary judgment as to damages a New York trial court awarded damages to the plaintiff in a breach of contract suit. The determination of damages was made without a trial but “on paper.” Additionally, the court used a subsequent sale of the stock to determine the damages and opine that the company was “worthless.”

New York Trial Court Determines Damages Without a Trial and Uses Subsequent Transaction to Determine the Amount

In this surmised summary judgment as to damages a New York trial court awarded damages to the plaintiff in a breach of contract suit. The determination of damages was made without a trial but “on paper.” Additionally, the court used a subsequent sale of the stock to determine the damages and opine that the company was “worthless.”

Business Valuation Case Law Yearbook, 2022 Edition

January 2022 PDF, Softcover (177 pages)

BVR (editor)

Business Valuation Resources, LLC

The legal coverage and in-depth analysis from the BVR legal team deliver lessons learned to help appraisers reach better and more defensible valuation conclusions. All the cases featured in this book impart important lessons about applicable legal principles, approved and discredited valuation methodology, and the act (and art) of presenting expert opinions. This must-have collection benefits both the generalist as well as the specialist.

Learn more >>

Sherman v. Sherrod

In this primarily procedural ruling, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed judgment from a lower court awarding damages, including goodwill, for breach of contract arising from a sale of a medical practice, including goodwill. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants’ failure to comply with the transfer assistant clauses in the sale contract destroyed the practice goodwill, among other things.

In a Primarily Procedural Ruling, the Michigan Court of Appeals Affirms a Damages Award Including Goodwill

In this primarily procedural ruling, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed judgment from a lower court awarding damages, including goodwill, for breach of contract arising from a sale of a medical practice, including goodwill. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants’ failure to comply with the transfer assistant clauses in the sale contract destroyed the practice goodwill, among other things.

Paganelli v. Lovelace

This case resulted in the court issuing a partial summary judgment in favor of the defendant (and counterclaimant) in a matter regarding a sale/purchase contract between the plaintiff and the defendant. The cross-allegations resulted from the defendant allegedly breaching the purchase contract, while the defendant alleged that the plaintiff first breached the contract and committed fraud in entering into the contract.

Court Issues Partial Summary Judgment in Favor of Party Alleging Breach of Contract

This case resulted in the court issuing a partial summary judgment in favor of the defendant (and counterclaimant) in a matter regarding a sale/purchase contract between the plaintiff and the defendant. The cross-allegations resulted from the defendant allegedly breaching the purchase contract, while the defendant alleged that the plaintiff first breached the contract and committed fraud in entering into the contract.

Precision Kidd Acquisition, LLC v. Pass

In merger-related damages case, court upholds damages based on profits lost from key client’s termination of supply agreement with seller company; trial court properly rejected buyer expert’s DCF-based loss analysis which, among other flaws, overstated value of lost contract to seller company.

Proper Damages Measure Is Lost Profits Calculation, Not DCF-Based Loss Analysis

In merger-related damages case, court upholds damages based on profits lost from key client’s termination of supply agreement with seller company; trial court properly rejected buyer expert’s DCF-based loss analysis which, among other flaws, overstated value of lost contract to seller company.

In COVID-19 Business Interruption Case, Court Finds Business Cannot Show Insurer’s Coverage Denial Breached Contract

In business interruption case resulting from mandatory shutdowns to control COVID-19, court finds plaintiff chiropractic clinic failed to show insurer breached its policy; court says plaintiff did not demonstrate “tangible damage” to property and failed to overcome policy’s express virus exclusion.

Turek Enterprises, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

In business interruption case resulting from mandatory shutdowns to control COVID-19, court finds plaintiff chiropractic clinic failed to show insurer breached its policy; court says plaintiff did not demonstrate “tangible damage” to property and failed to overcome policy’s express virus exclusion.

Judicial panel resistant to consolidating COVID-19 business interruption litigation

Responding to requests by plaintiffs who are pursuing lawsuits against insurers for COVID-19-related business losses, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML Panel) recently rejected two proposals for centralization.

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