Judicial Decisions

Judicial Decisions Won by Law Office of Frank DiPrima, P.A.

Tucker v. Scrushy, CV-02-5212, Circuit Court of Jefferson County, AL, Memorandum Opinion Regarding Final Judgment Order Against Defendant Richard M. Scrushy Under Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 54(b), 2009 WL 1709097 and 2009 WL 1709245 (Ala.Cir.Ct. June 18, 2009).  At eleven-day bench trial in May 2009, proved that Scrushy directed the seven-year accounting fraud at HealthSouth.  Won a judgment of $2.89 billion dollars.  This is not only the largest judgment of all time in a shareholders' derivative action, but may be the largest judgment against any individual in any American jurisdiction. Frank DiPrima was one of a team of four lawyers who tried and won the case. Judgment affirmed in its entirety by the Alabama Supreme Court, Scrushy v. Tucker II, Scrushy v. Tucker, 70 So.3d 289 (Ala. 2011). Vigorous collection efforts are ongoing; thus far have collected $31.8 million (previously collected $70 million in cash from two prior judgments against Mr. Scrushy described below), all for and on behalf of HealthSouth Corporation.

Ernst & Young LLP v. Tucker, 940 So.2d 269 (Ala. 2006).  Affirming trial court’s restrictions in arbitration order directing arbitration panel not to permit re-litigation of issues knowingly litigated and lost by defendant accounting firm, including demand excusal under Ala. R. Civ. P., Rule 23.1 and including challenge to derivative plaintiffs’ control of suit.  In case of first impression, Alabama Supreme Court held that where defendant had knowingly litigated and then lost an issue before the court, that defendant is collaterally estopped from raising the issue again to the arbitration panel.

Joseph v. Edison Control Corp., 2006 WL 2033666 (N.J.App.Div. 2006).  Affirming trial court grant of plaintiff motion to enforce settlement agreement on behalf of minority shareholders forced out in reverse split.  Settlement agreement was made orally at a court-ordered mediation, reported orally to the court by counsel to both parties and mediator, and later denied by defendants.  Suit had challenged process and price as unfair, and plaintiff minority shareholders received about 50% above original price in completed merger as a result of the suit and settlement.

Scrushy v. Tucker, 955 So.2d 988 (Ala. 2006).  Won affirmance of the Circuit Court Order and Final Judgment requiring CEO to return bonuses; upholding theory of unjust enrichment.  Includes separate and earlier opinion first handed down in April 2006 affirming trial court’s certification of finality of judgment under Rule 54(b), a matter going to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Alabama.  Merits affirmance upholding unjust enrichment theory of recovery was in August 2006.  The judgment, $53 million after interest, was collected in 2006-2007.

Tucker v. Scrushy, CV-02-5212, Circuit Court of Jefferson County, AL, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Final Judgment Pursuant to A.R.C.P., Rule 54(b) against Defendant Richard M. Scrushy, 2006 WL 37028 (Ala.Cir.Ct. Jan. 3, 2006).  Won judgment in derivative suit brought on behalf of HealthSouth requiring CEO to repay bonuses he had received for years 1997 through 2002, when fraudulent public statements showed substantial net income but proper accounting later showed substantial losses; opinion assumed that CEO knew not of the fraud, but granted summary judgment based on unjust enrichment theory.

Tardiff v. Knox County, 365 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2004).  In important civil rights case, won affirmance of class certification for detainees of county holding facility that had been victims of routine, suspicionless strip-searches; plaintiff class eventually received substantial recovery in settlement following class certification.

In re HealthSouth Corp. Shareholders’ Litig., 847 A.2d 1121 (Del.2004), affirming In re HealthSouth Corp. Shareholders’ Litig., 845 A.2d 1096 (Del.Ch. 2003) for all the reasons assigned therein.

In re HealthSouth Corp. Shareholders’ Litig., 845 A.2d 1096 (Del.Ch. 2003).  Won rescission of transaction wherein CEO had repaid $25 million loan he made from his corporation by transferring back to corporation stock he held in the corporation at market price artificially inflated by accounting fraud.  Decision resulted in judgment of $17 million, eventually collected.

Biondi v. Scrushy, 920 A.2d 1148 (Del.Ch. 2003).  Overcame first-filed presumption; obtained ruling that superior complaint trumps rival suit’s 16 day head-start. Also defeated motion to stay based on special litigation committee where committee members shown to be biased.

Rapaport v. Bernstein, C.A. No. 18825, Del.Ch. Mar.12, 2002.  Won summary judgment for plaintiff minority shareholders in suit challenging adequacy of disclosure and price in force-out merger.  Plaintiffs had been carved out of class that successfully challenged merger disclosure and price, and court enforced offensive use of collateral estoppel to hold for plaintiffs. 

Turner v. Bernstein, 768 A.2d 24 (Del.Ch. 2000).  Obtained non-opt-out class certification for class of minority shareholders challenging fairness of price of completed merger over vigorous effort of CEO representing majority to solicit opt-out affidavits from individual minority shareholders.

Turner v. Bernstein, 776 A.2d 530 (Del.Ch. 2000).  Won summary judgment for minority shareholders challenging merger price of completed merger after discovery that disclosures were materially inadequate; plaintiffs who voted for merger held not to have waived right to challenge merger price in equitable action for breach of fiduciary duty.

In the Matter of Boggs, A-913-98T2, App.Div.NJ (Dec. 1999).  Won ruling that remainder provision, favoring one line of heirs and disfavoring the other, surreptitiously inserted in special needs trust established for lifelong millionaire incompetent is void and that livelong incompetent’s estate must be distributed per laws of intestate succession and won affirmance on appeal.  Collected proper share for plaintiff heirs.

 

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