Link suit moves northThe Link family feud has come to Douglas County Circuit Court. Jay Link, now of Wascott, filed a civil suit Monday against his father Jack Link, brother Troy Link, the Minong-based meat snack company Link Snacks, Inc. and the company’s chief financial officer John Hermeier.
By: Superior Telegram, Superior Telegram
The Link family feud has come to Douglas County Circuit Court.
Jay Link, now of Wascott, filed a civil suit Monday against his father Jack Link, brother Troy Link, the Minong-based meat snack company Link Snacks, Inc. and the company’s chief financial officer John Hermeier. The complaint accuses the three men of withholding dividends and other money from Jay during the time frame between a court ordered sale of his stock in Link Snacks and the actual sale.
The charges are rooted in a buyout agreement that was activated when Jack fired Jay on Jay’s birthday in 2005. Jay, who was company president, refused to sell his stock and Jack sued Jay in court to enforce the agreement.
After a six-week trial, a Washburn County jury awarded the company $5.2 million for Jay’s interference with a company supplier and the jury awarded Jay $5.7 million for Troy’s breach of fiduciary duty. Circuit Court Judge Eugene Harrington reduced Jay’s jury award to $736,000 and later ordered the company to pay Jay $26.4 million for his shares of the family’s companies.
Jay appealed and the appeals court reinstated the $5.7 million damage award against the company finding that it missed the deadline to file its motion to reduce the award.
Both sides appealed to the state Supreme Court in October, and no decision has been handed down yet.
In the new Douglas County suit, Jay argues that his father, brother and Hermeier failed to pay the income tax liability for the stock he owned during the last months he was a shareholder, which is a breach of the Washburn County Buy-Sell Agreement. He also states that the men withheld dividends owed on the stock from the time between the jury’s decision in 2008 and the sale of Jay’s shares on June 30, 2009.
Jay calls for a jury trial in the complaint. He is asking for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees. The defendants have 45 days from the filing of the complaint to respond.