Christine Brashear, currently at Samhain Publishing and a 5% shareholder in Ellora’s Cave, has filed civil suit against Ellora’s Cave, Tina Engler/Jaid Black, Patricia Marks, and various affiliated individuals and companies.
To read the 19-page PDF of the civil suit filed in Summit County, Ohio, last week, you can search by Last name or you can download your own copy here. Brashear’s complaint asks for “damages and injunctions for breach of contract; breach of statutory and common law duties, breach of fiduciary duties and defamation.”
Say what now?
Breashear’s complaint states that:
- As a shareholder Engler, Marks, et al. have breached their fiduciary duty to her, as well as violating specific clauses of their buy-sell agreement.
What’s a fiduciary duty, other than something really fun to say? From Wikipedia: “A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom they owe the duty (the “principal”): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents.”
- Brashear then mitigates her damages in that she states she requested access to their financial records, and they denied her access—access which is her right as a shareholder.
- Moreover, Brashear alleges that Ellora’s Cave et al. owe her money as a shareholder, money on which she must pay taxes, but which she never received from Ellora’s Cave (item 13, page 5).
- On Page 4, item number 9, the complaint states that Engler and Marks have been “diverting EC’s assets…to some of all of the Related Companies… accounting manipulation to reduce shareholder distributions to which Brashear would properly have been entitled, and by terminating Brashear’s employment.”
I am curious whether the case will go to federal court, since damages could be greater than $75,000 and since the parties in the suit are from different states. Additionally, what does this mean for authors looking to publish with, or authors currently published with Ellora’s Cave?
Either way, this should be rather interesting.