DALLAS, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas has overturned a $10.7 million jury verdict against Mr. Mehrdad "Mike" Ghani and business associate, Dr. Michael Taba. The case involved a dispute between investors in two medical imaging centers after one entity was dissolved and an investor was removed from the other. The case was brought by the ousted investor, Dr. Erwin Cruz, a General Partner who filed suit alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and conversion.
Dr. Cruz claimed financial losses, arguing that he was deprived of his interests in the two businesses, Plano AMI, L.P. and North Dallas Medical Imaging, L.P. After a two week trial in May 2012, the jurors found in favor of the Plaintiff.
Mr. Ghani and Dr. Taba appealed the verdict, citing several issues. Defense counsel had introduced evidence that Dr. Cruz consented to the dissolution of NDMI and thereby waived any breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court granted a motion for a directed verdict on Mr. Ghani's defense of waiver, but the appeals court agreed that there was evidence that Dr. Cruz knowingly consented to the dissolution.
Further, the trial court judge ruled in a pre-trial motion that Dr. Cruz was a Limited Partner in Plano AMI. However, evidence presented on appeal demonstrated that Dr. Cruz was a General Partner through an intermediate corporation, not a Limited Partner. Because the jury was instructed that Dr. Cruz was a Limited Partner, the appeals court was "convinced that the pretrial ruling infected the entire trial." The court issued an opinion stating, "It impacted the appellants' cross-examination of witnesses, the presentation of their case, and, most importantly, what evidence they could present."
"The judge favored opposing counsel in his rulings, which affected the jurors' opinions," said Mr. Ghani. "The jury was prevented from considering all the facts. A new judge has been elected and I believe we'll get a fair trial this time."
"We are pleased that the Court of Appeals agreed with us, and sent the case back for a new trial," said Michael Jung, a partner at Strasburger & Price, LLP. "We believed from the beginning that the first trial was infected with many legal errors that prevented Mr. Ghani from being able to fairly present his side of the story to the jury. We look forward to the retrial, and are confident of a better outcome this time around."
Mehrdad "Mike" Ghani
Sheley Marketing LLC
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