Comdata Network Inc. has won a jury verdict in its three-year legal battle with the Nashville businessman who acquired its trucking industry audio magazine.
The disagreement arose shortly after Comdata's December 1999 sale of Superdriver magazine to Jim Stein, a former Comdata executive who founded the publication 10 years earlier. The transaction called for Stein to pay $300,000 up front plus $25,000/month for five years. After folding the publication into his J. Stein Publishers, Stein put his company into bankruptcy before making the first monthly payment to Comdata.
On Friday, following a week-long trial in Chancery Court here, the jury found Stein liable to Comdata for $750,000. The jury concluded that Stein's use of his corporation was improper and exposed him to personal liability to Comdata.
Bill O'Bryan, who, along with fellow Miller & Martin attorney Ken Bryant, has represented Comdata since the beginning of the dispute, said in a release: "We are pleased with the decision of the jury in finding that people cannot transfer assets to avoid creditors and then hide behind the corporate shield to avoid personal liability."
Comdata is a unit of Ceridian Corp.