Failure to Disclose did not Breach Fiduciary Duty
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Pappas v. Tzolis
Plaintiffs and Defendant formed and managed a limited liability company for the purpose of entering into a long-term lease on a building in Manhattan. Later, Defendant took sole possession of the property and bought Plaintiffs’ membership interests in the LLC. Defendant subsequently assigned the lease to a subsidiary of a development company.
Believing that Defendant surreptitiously negotiated the sale with the development company before he bought their interests in the LLC, Plaintiffs commenced this action against Defendant, claiming that, by failing to disclose the negotiations with the development company, Defendant breached his fiduciary duty to them. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint. A divided Appellate Division modified Supreme Court’s order, allowing four of Plaintiffs’ claims to proceed – breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, unjust enrichment, and fraud and misrepresentation. The Court of Appeals reversed ad dismissed Plaintiffs’ complaint in its entirety, relying on its recent decision in Centro Empresarial Cempresa S.A. v. America Movil, S.A.B. de C.V. ( case can be read at: https://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/court-of-appeals/2011/93opn11.html)