Voisine v. BerubeAnnotate this Case
After Valley Firewood and Tree Farm (collectively, Valley) terminated its firewood business, Gary Voisine, on behalf of Valley, filed a three-count shareholder's derivative action against Valley and Robert Berube, a shareholder and president of Valley. After a bench trial, the superior court found Berube breached his duty to act in good faith toward Valley and awarded damages to Valley in the amount of $1,500,000, with half that sum, $750,000 plus interest and costs, to be paid over to Voisine. At issue on appeal was whether Valley itself was damaged and suffered losses as a result of Berube's conduct and whether Voisine had standing to bring the derivative action on Valley's behalf. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the superior court, holding that Voisine lacked standing to bring a shareholder's derivative action on behalf of Valley and was not entitled to damages as a matter of law because Voisine participated in the division of assets of Valley, received the benefits of that distribution, and created a corporation to sell firewood formerly sold by Valley that was intended to replace Valley.