News & Events
Firm Wins Jury Verdict in Complex Business Breakup Case Between Father and Son
On October 12, 2012, the firm won a jury verdict in a complex business breakup case between father and son. The firm defended the son against claims by his father's company that the son had breached his duties of loyalty and care as manager of the parties’ LLC. In closing argument, the father requested $5.4 million plus punitive damages for alleged improprieties. After a four week trial, the jury returned a verdict of zero damages in favor of the son (Innovative Financial Planning, Inc. v. Larry Bryan, et al., 17th Judicial Circuit, Case No. 07-10303).
During 2005 and 2006, Stanley Schweiger and his son, Larry Bryan, worked together in an insurance agency that sold premium-financed life insurance policies. The business, Simba Life Plans, LLC, focused on selling policies with large death benefits to high net worth senior citizens. The applicants typically did not pay the expensive insurance premiums themselves. Rather, third party “funders” paid the premiums on their behalf. The funders later received an assignment of the policy’s death benefit in a secondary market transaction.
By 2006, this business had become so successful that the LLC was grossing millions in annual sales. By the middle of 2006, the father and son began having difficulties over business issues.
In May 2007, the father, through his holding company, sued the son and various companies related to the business. The father alleged that he was entitled to 40% of the business’ profits through 2010, when the business ended. Because the business had failed by 2010, however, the father’s key theory was to impose personal liability against the son for breaching his duties as manager of the LLC. The father alleged various improprieties against the son.
The son defended the claims against him for personal liability by asserting the defenses of the business judgment rule and in pari delicto. The business judgment rule protects a manager of an LLC for properly exercising his business judgment in a manner that does not lead to an improper personal benefit. The defense of in pari delicto is a Latin term that means “in equal fault” and prevents a plaintiff from recovery if the plaintiff knowingly participated in the same wrongful conduct about which he complains.
In closing argument, the father asked for $5.4 million against the son personally, plus punitive damages. After a 4 week trial, the jury returned a verdict of zero damages in favor of the son.
The case was tried in Broward County before Circuit Judge Jack Tuter. Trial counsel for the defendants were Ryon McCabe, Adam Rabin, and Robert Glass.
2012 CONSTITUTION DAY ESSAY CONTEST
This year is the 225th birthday of the United States Constitution. Help us celebrate by entering our Constitution Day Essay Contest!
- The contest is open to all middle school students in Palm Beach County, i.e., 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
- Essays must be 500 words or less, neatly handwritten or typewritten.
- Essays must respond to the Essay Question posed below and be received by Friday, August 31, 2012 to: Essay Contest, c/o McCabe Rabin, P.A., 1601 Forum Place, Suite 505, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
- Essays will be judged on argument, clarity and persuasiveness.
- Please include the student's name, school, teacher and contact information on each essay so winners can be notified.
In addition, all students, teachers and families are invited to attend our “America Reads the Constitution” event on Monday, September 10, 2012 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach . We will have a group of 40 elected officials and distinguished citizens read the text of the Constitution in a public forum Click here for a video of last year’s event .
If you plan to attend, please rsvp to wendy@McCabeRabin.com before September 4, 2012.
The first place winner will also be invited to read the Preamble (the “We the people” part) at our event!
This October, Palm Beach County will host a debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the U.S. Presidential Election. What is the most important power given to the President under the U.S. Constitution? What is the most important limitation on the President’s powers? Please answer both questions.
Give your answer In 500 words or less.
Sponsored by the law firm of McCabe Rabin, P.A. ––– www.McCabeRabin.com
West Palm Beach Attorneys Announce Payment of $3.1 Million Settlement with South Florida Imaging Center in Medicare Qui Tam Action
WEST PALM BEACH – The law firms of McCabe Rabin, P.A. and Bruce E. Reinhart, P.A. announce the payment of a $3.1 Million qui tam settlement, including attorney’s fees, that they and Department of Justice attorneys reached with Midtown Imaging, LLC (“Midtown”) and its former owners for claims alleged by two radiologists (the “Relators”). Midtown owns several diagnostic imaging centers in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Relators worked for a radiology group that provided medical services to Midtown. The Relators filed their claims under the Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729), known as the federal whistleblower statute.
On November 12, 2009, the Relators filed their qui tam action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Case No. 09-82209). The complaint alleged that Midtown submitted false claims to Medicare between 2000 and 2008 by entering into certain leasing and professional services agreements with referring physicians and physician groups that violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other federally-funded programs. The Stark Law prohibits a medical center from profiting from patient referrals made by a physician with whom the center has an improper financial arrangement.
A copy of the settlement agreement may be found in the court file at https://ecf.flsd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl . The Relators’ share from the $3.1 million settlement is $700,000, inclusive of attorney’s fees.
In addressing the settlement, the Relators’ qui tam lawyer and co-counsel, Adam Rabin, said “We are very pleased with the settlement after several years of hard work and analysis of the complex referral schemes. We are happy that our firm was able to work so well with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office in bringing this case to a favorable resolution.” The Relators’ qui tam attorney and co- counsel, Bruce Reinhart, added, “I believe my prior experience as a federal prosecutor was extremely valuable to our clients’ case. It expedited our review of the schemes, it helped us focus our presentation of the claims to the Department of Justice, and it facilitated our cooperation with them.”
Adam Rabin Appointed As Chair Of The Southern District Of Florida Bench And Bar Conference
Adam Rabin was recently appointed by Chief Judge Federico Moreno as the Chair for the Southern District of Florida Bench & Bar Conference to be held on April 27, 2012 in West Palm Beach.