Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Indiana Law on Breach of Fiduciary Duty

First, what is a fiduciary duty? Where one is in a position of trust to others then that person has a fiduciary duty to those others.

Second, when can one sue for a breach of fiduciary duty? When the person having the trust commits an act clearly in his own interest and against the interest of the corporation, a breach of fiduciary duty occurs.

More specifically, the law sets out three elements the plaintiff must prove for a successful breach of fiduciary duty case: (1) the defendant had a fiduciary duty to the plaintiff, (2) the defendant breached the duty, and (3) the breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff.

See Hartung v. Architects Hartung/Odle/Burke, Inc., 157 Ind. App. 546, 552, 301 N.E.2d 240, 242 (1973). For a more accessible case involving the fiduciary duty of a shareholder and relying on Hartung, see Linden v. Coco (html format).