No Right to Jury Trial for Shareholder Oppression Claims

The Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling in Madugula v Taub, Case No. 146289 (July 15, 2014) is important because the court put to rest any doubt as to whether claims arising under the Shareholder Oppression Statute, MCL 450.1489 of the Michigan Business Corporations Act, are tried to jury. 

Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the plain language of §489 expresses no legislative intent to have §489 claims heard by a jury; nor do claimants possess a constitutional right to a jury trial under §489 because, the Supreme Court found, such claims would have been deemed equitable when the Michigan Constitution was adopted. 

Lastly, the Supreme Court clarified that the breach of a stockholder’s agreement can be evidence of shareholder oppression under §489.

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