Friday, November 22, 2013

Vigneau v. Storch Engineers case brief

Vigneau v. Storch Engineers case brief summary
1995 WL 767984


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff partner brought an action to recover the value of his partnership interest pursuant to the retirement provisions of a partnership agreement entered into with defendant partnership. Defendant counterclaimed on the grounds of plaintiff's breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, and negligence. Plaintiff alleged the special defense of statute of limitations.

CASE FACTS
After plaintiff partner and defendant firm entered into an agreement as a consulting engineering firm, defendant learned that plaintiff secretly became general partner of two other real estate partnerships and the partnerships sought and received defendant's services unbeknownst to it that plaintiff was a partner, and one partnership was unable to pay its bill. Plaintiff sought to recover the value of his partnership interest with defendant pursuant to the retirement provisions of their agreement. Defendant counterclaimed on the grounds of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), and negligence. Plaintiff alleged the special defense of statute of limitations.

DISCUSSION

  • The court concluded that plaintiff violated his fiduciary duty and breached the agreement requiring him to give full information and truthful explanation of all matters relating to partnership affairs and ethical duties. 
  • The court held that defendant could recover on his counterclaims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and CUTPA plus interest less the value of plaintiff's vested partnership interest, which was owed to him despite his self-dealing.

CONCLUSION
The court held that plaintiff breached his fiduciary duty, was fraudulent, and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act when he became partner of two real estate partnership agreements and violated his agreement with defendant firm by not disclosing such self-dealing. The court awarded defendant compensatory and punitive damages less the value of vested plaintiff's partnership interest, which was owed to him despite his self-dealing.

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