Warren v. Campbell Farming Corp.

Campbell Farming Corporation had its shares controlled by three shareholders: Stephanie Gately controlled fifty-one percent of the shares, and H. Robert Warren and Joan Crocker controlled the remaining forty-nine percent. Stephanie awarded her son, Robert Gately, who was president of the company, a bonus after a vote by the shareholders. Warren and Crocker filed a derivative and direct action against the company and the Gatelys in federal district court seeking to void the bonus. The district court entered judgment in favor of Defendants. The Supreme Court accepted certification from the Tenth Circuit to answer several questions and held (1) the safe harbor provision of Mont. Code Ann. 35-1-462(2)(c) can be extended to cover a conflict-of-interest transaction involving a bonus that lacks consideration and would be void under Montana common law; (2) the business judgment rule does not apply to situations involving a director's conflict-of-interest transaction; and (3) the holding in Daniels v. Thomas, Dean & Hoskins does not apply to the claim challenging Stephanie's role in the director conflict of interest transaction, but the Daniels test does apply to the claim of breach of fiduciary duties alleged by the minority shareholders against Stephanie in her capacity as majority shareholder. View "Warren v. Campbell Farming Corp." on Justia Law