Thursday, March 8, 2018
On March 1, 2018, following a 3-week jury trial, Tim Norton and Jennifer Archer obtained a $5.9 million jury verdict for their clients, Tucker Cianchette and CBF Associates, LLC.
After fraudulently misrepresenting their intention to sell Casco Bay Ford to Tucker Cianchette, Eric Cianchette and Peggy Cianchette breached the purchase and sale agreement to sell their interests in the dealership and Cianchette Family LLC breached the purchase and sale agreement to sell the underlying real estate to CBF Associates, LLC. Peggy Cianchette also breached her fiduciary duty to Tucker Cianchette by unilaterally increasing the rent paid by the dealership by $42,000/month over a 4-year period, to Cianchette Family, LLC, a family-owned limited liability company that ultimately benefits her husband Eric Cianchette and their four children. Finally, Peggy Cianchette and Eric Cianchette breached the PET, LLC operating agreement in a number of ways, including by unilaterally increasing the base rent and making a $375,000 interest-free "loan" to Cianchette Family, LLC, which loan is still outstanding and is not subject to any terms, including repayment terms.
The jury awarded $3,100,000 for breach of contract and fraud, $750,000 for breach of the real estate contract, $550,000 for breach of fiduciary duty, and $1,500,000 in punitive damages.