After planning these maneuvers, Dennis called a pair of family meetings in November 1985 to discuss his mother’s estate. At the meetings, Dennis lied to his siblings by claiming that Griffin Industries was on the verge of bankruptcy (it was actually profitable), and that their parents’ estate plans called for the six sons to own all of the parents’ Griffin Industries stock. Dennis did not show any of his sisters his mother’s estate or trust documents, and when one of the sisters (Linda) tried to ask about her mother’s will, Dennis told her “to shut up and sit down.” (Id. ¶ 40.) Reflecting the patriarchal nature of the family, Plaintiffs trusted and “relied on Dennis and Griffy to handle their parents’ estate matters.” (Id. ¶ 45.)
On two subsequent occasions, Linda visited Dennis and asked to view Rosellen’s estate documents. Each time, Dennis became angry and abusive, and refused to show her the relevant documents.
After the Defendants structured the ownership of the family business to their liking, they sold the family business for $840 million. The trial court awarded the Plaintiff’s $330 million in lost profits. The trial court also awarded the Plaintiffs $250 million in prejudgment interest.