Noce and Mueller Obtain Defense Verdict for Client
Following a jury trial in St. Louis County, Gerard Noce and Amanda Mueller obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a law firm and member of that law firm in a breach of fiduciary duty case. The client law firm had acted as Trustee for a large decedent's Trust and had worked with a former home health employee of the decedent to collect all Trust assets and pay out bequests to beneficiaries, including the employee. The employee had previously been added to the decedent's bank accounts to facilitate household management and the decedent intended the funds, upon her death, to be added to the Trust assets. Upon her death, the decedent (Plaintiff) turned over the funds to the Trust. 2 years later, however, the Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the client law firm and Trustee had improperly taken funds that were hers. Prior to trial, Plaintiff's demand was for approximately $250,000.
At trial, Noce and Mueller obtained directed verdicts on 3 of plaintiff's claims, including fraud, imputed fraud, and punitive damages. A jury then returned a verdict in favor of the Defendant on her remaining claim. The jury also awarded the Defendant law firm and Trustee over $10,000 on their Counterclaim that sought to have the Plaintiff repay money to the Trust that she had not repaid the decedent on significant loans made to her over the years of her employment.