Nation v. Am. Capital, Ltd.
Nation left his position as CEO of Spring Air in 2007 with a severance package of $1.2 million to be paid over 15 months provided he did not work for competitors through 2008. Spring Air paid Nation more than $836,000, but in August 2008 ceased making payments due to liquidity problems. Spring Air ultimately filed for bankruptcy. Nation sued defendant, Spring Air's majority shareholder and primary creditor, asserting tortious interference with contract: that defendant used its majority position on Spring Air's board of directors to induce the company to breach his severance agreement. The district court dismissed, finding that defendant was conditionally privileged based on its status as Spring Air's majority shareholder and that Nation had not presented sufficient evidence to overcome the privilege. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Illinois law recognizes that a corporation's directors, officers, and shareholders are conditionally privileged to interfere with the corporation's contracts. The privilege is an aspect of the business-judgment rule. Nation failed to overcome the privilege with evidence that defendant induced breach for the specific purpose of injuring him or to further its own goals and that it acted against the best interests of the corporation. View "Nation v. Am. Capital, Ltd." on Justia Law