In business operations, individuals are given fiduciary duty in order to carry out important business transactions in the best interest of the business or another individual. These decisions are often above and beyond the interest of the individual given fiduciary duties. Known as the fiduciary, this individual is obligated to act in good faith, and with care and loyalty towards those they owe fiduciary duties.
Unfortunately, there are times when an individual acts in a manner that violates their fiduciary duties, resulting in damages to a business or another individual. In these situations, legal recourse may be pursued in order to recover any resulting damages from breaches of fiduciary duties. It is strongly recommended that business owners work with an experienced business attorney to preemptively formulate a strategy to protect their businesses from any potential breach of fiduciary duty.
Elements of Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida
There are several elements that must be established in Florida in order to purse an individual for breach of fiduciary duties:
- A pre-existing fiduciary relationship
- Clear breach of said fiduciary duty
- Damages caused by thai breach of fiduciary duty
Once all of these elements have been established clearly, a business owner or plaintiff may be able to recover compensations for any losses sustained as a result of the breach of fiduciary duty. However, for these to be established there are certain standards that must be met under Florida law.
The first element in a breach of fiduciary duty in Florida is the establishment of fiduciary relationship between the plaintiff and individual in question. Generally speaking, in the context of business these relationships include:
- Business partner(s)
- Corporate officer or shareholder
- An agent or principal
While these are different relationships, they all involve the fiduciary duties of loyalty, good faith and care, which are not upheld when there is a breach of fiduciary duty.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
In Florida, there are specific fiduciary duties for business relationships. The specific duties vary depending on the exact type of relationship involved, however they all are legally required by the fiduciary to act upon for the benefit of those they owe the duty. This can be either business partners, corporate officers or employees of a business.
When a fiduciary fails to uphold their duties, damages to the business can result. There are multiple resolutions available to victims, depending on the particular situation. Victims have the option to seek both compensatory and punitive damages from the fiduciary. In addition to this the victim can also seek equitable relief, which can include actions such as an injunction, disgorgement of profits or an accounting.
Recovering damages from a breach of fiduciary duty is the most challenging part of the process, and it is therefore vital that victims seek out a business attorney with experience and a track record of success in handling these matters. This will ensure the best possible legal outcome and put the business in the best position to move forward.