Plaintiff, a shareholder in a closely-held corporation, brought an action against the only other shareholder, asserting both direct claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and derivative shareholder claims alleging breach of fiduciary trust, mismanagement, conversion, and fraud. Following the conclusion of a bench trial, the trial judge dismissed the action in its entirety without prejudice for lack of standing.
The court reverses the dismissal of plaintiff's direct claims of breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and remands those claims to the trial court to render a decision on the merits, finding plaintiff had standing to pursue those direct claims.
The court rejects plaintiff's argument that the prior denial of defendant's motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted constituted the law of the case. The court affirms the dismissal without prejudice of the remaining derivative claims because it is unable to determine from the record if allowing the derivative claims to proceed would prejudice the corporation's creditors.