Joel Newman Multi-Million Dollar Arbitration Decision Makes List Of Top Michigan Verdicts & Settlements.

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Newman's $2.2 Million minority shareholders asserted oppression arbitration decision is largest in the Arbitration category.

Plaintiffs were minority shareholders in a construction and staffing company, Vetbuilt Building Group, Inc. (VBG). Defendant Garcia was the majority owner and president. Garcia and defendant Malacara moved staffing customers, accounts receivable and money from VBG to Malacara's company, Vetbuilt Services Inc. (VSI) and damaged the company thereby.

Inter alia, the arbitrator awarded damages against Garcia for shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duties, conversion and fraud. He also awarded all attorneys' fees, expert fees and costs under the statutory claims. The arbitrator also held Garcia responsible for alleged business expenses not documented for proper business purpose and taking excessive compensation.

Against, VSI, the arbitrator awarded damages to plaintiffs for wrongfully collecting and retaining VBG's receivables, and improper payments made to and for VSI by VBG.

Plaintiffs' counsel said that the most difficult aspects of the proofs were damages. VBG did not keep proper books and records, and almost all of plaintiff's damage proofs were subpoenaed from third parties. Plaintiffs' controller, Michelle Hohendorf, was extremely helpful in constructing the money trail.

Hon. Daniel P. Ryan awarded $2,252,305 in arbitration.

H. Joel Newman, counsel for plaintiffs, provided case information.

Type of action: Shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duties

Name of case: Johnson v Garcia

Court/Case no./Date: Michigan Judicial Arbitration Mediation Services; 14-011825-CB; Dec. 3, 2016

Tried before: Arbitration

Name of Judge: Hon. Maria Oxholm

Name of Arbitrator: Hon. Daniel P. Ryan

Case evaluation: $1 million

Arbitration award: $2,252,306

Special damages: $275,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs under oppression and conversion statutes

Attorney for plaintiff: H. Joel Newman

Attorney for defendant: Avery Williams

H. Joel Newman is an attorney specializing in business litigation, commercial litigation and shareholder disputes. Practicing in Oakland County Michigan, Wayne County Michigan and Macomb County Michigan.