A Charleston County, S.C., jury awarded $1,189,408 to Plaintiff Clifford Hansen after determining he had been unfairly excluded in a business purchase that he had personally developed. The jury found Defendant, Beechwood Development Group of South Carolina, LLC, to be accountable for the investment Mr. Hansen made in developing plans to purchase Hickory Springs Water Company. This is a company that bottles and distributes drinking water for retail and wholesale customers. The Defendants eventually purchased the business and assets of the company to the exclusion of the Plaintiff.
Evidence was introduced during the trial proving that Mr. Hansen invested considerable time and money in the development of the planned purchase. The testimony included his performing due diligence and paying engineers for hydrology studies of the natural springs used by the bottled water facility. The Defendants wrongfully converted and retained crucial information provided by or prepared based on information from Mr. Hansen in order to acquire Hickory Springs Water Company and its assets without including the Plaintiff.
Clifford Hansen grew up working in two water bottling businesses run by his father. His dream was to eventually own his own water company one day, a dream he shared with his father before his tragic premature death due to cancer. Unfortunately, the man’s dream was stolen from him by some greedy businessmen who utilized Clifford’s own hard work and due diligence to purchase this water company to his exclusion. Fortunately, the South Carolina jury did not let this injustice go unpunished. While Mr. Hansen still does not have his dream, at least he has some vindication.
This case was tried in the Court of Common Pleas for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, State of South Carolina, County of Charleston. Bill Hopkins, a lawyer in our Consumer Fraud Section, tried this case and did a very good job for his client. Bill practiced law for several years in South Carolina before joining our firm. If you need more information on the case, contact Bill at 800-898-2034 or by email at Bill.Hopkins@beasleyallen.com.
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