Manatt Secures $31M Judgment on Behalf of Client in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Trial

Ruling Comes in Aftermath of a 2015 Dissolution and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Action Brought by Manatt Client Leonard Schrage

Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated national professional services firm, secured a significant trial victory on behalf of client Leonard Schrage following a two-month bench trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. The Manatt team included partners Ivan L. Kallick, Richard J. Maire, Benjamin G. Shatz and senior associate Kishan H. Barot.

Leonard Schrage was awarded approximately $31 million in compensatory and punitive damages, plus nearly $1 million in legal fees, after the court found his brothers had breached their fiduciary duties related to the automobile dealerships the three inherited from their father. The court determined that Leonard’s brothers “knowingly and intentionally conspired to undermine Leonard’s authority at every step,” and that their misconduct threatened the financial viability of the business, significantly impacting Leonard’s financial interests.

The trial lasted from April 4, 2018 to June 6, 2018. The court determined that, due to the breach of fiduciary duty, damages to Leonard totaled $21 million. In addition, the judge awarded Leonard a total of $10 million in punitive damages, $5 million against each defendant.

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