After four and a half years of litigation, seven different defense lawyers, and two judges, the jury yesterday spoke and awarded a verdict of $58,431,074.00.
Miami, Florida (PRWEB) November 03, 2015
After four and a half years of litigation, seven different defense lawyers, and two judges, the jury yesterday spoke and awarded a verdict of $58,431,074.00 against Defendants, America Teve (Channel 41), Promisa, Inc., Okeechobee Television, Corp., (“The America Teve Entities”) and America CV CEO Omar Romay.
The three week trial in front of the Honorable Monica Gordo presented to the jury whether Omar Romay, personally and through his various corporate entities, failed to act with good faith and fair dealing towards his partners and whether he engaged in self-dealing with the hopes of gaining majority control of the company he shared with his partners.
According to court documents in 2010, the Plaintiffs (“The Caribevision Entities”) entered into a joint venture agreement with the America Teve Entities. The Plaintiffs contributed six television stations (Puerto Rico, Miami, and New York) to the Defendants’ one. According to the complaint, despite a unanimous approval by the board of directors to renew a loan with Banco Santander, Romay's inaction and failure to deliver the documents led the bank to collect $10,400,000.00 on the personal guarantees it held against the Plaintiffs.
Throughout the trial, Plaintiffs’ counsel, Omar Ortega, Rey Dorta and Nicole Ruesca presented evidence of a multitude of unilateral actions taken by Romay without board meetings, board discussion or board approval. Mr. Ortega argued that each and every one of the actions taken by Romay were in an effort to secure a larger stake in the company because of a pending 2016 FCC reverse spectrum auction that could be worth billions of dollars to the company. In order to show the self-dealing by Romay, the jury was presented with evidence that Romay issued equity shares to himself and removed the existing board of directors, replacing them with his family. He claimed that instead of being a 50/50 partner, he was 80% owner of the company.
Benedict Kuehne, became the seventh lawyer to represent Romay and the Defendants, entering a substitution of counsel September 30, 2015, just two weeks before the commencement of trial. Mr. Keuhne argued to the jury that all of the actions that his client took were necessary and in the best interest of the company. Throughout the trial, he argued that none of Romay’s actions were against the governing documents of the joint venture and none required a vote of the board of directors. He further argued that the Plaintiffs’ were somehow to blame for the company’s poor financial performance and that they should pay Romay damages.
The jury disagreed and in turn awarded the Plaintiffs $58,431,074.00.
In the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami Dade County.
Caribevision Holdinghs Inc., et. al v. Omar Romay, et. al
Local Case number:2011-025608-CA-01
Filing Date: 8/15/2011