After a bench trial spanning three months, EKLJ partner Mark Elliott secured a significant victory for trust beneficiaries in Nassau County Surrogate’s Court in a case pertaining to fiduciary duty and executive compensation. The court ordered that the trustee be removed and pay significant damages to the trust at issue.
The trust’s assets primarily consist of shares in three companies, one of which is a manufacturer of plastic tubing (Iridium). The court held that the trustee, who controlled the trust assets and was Iridium’s president, caused Iridium to overcompensate himself and members of his family, thereby violating his duty to the trust beneficiaries. The court also found that his removal as trustee was warranted by his want of understanding of his role as a fiduciary, demonstrated by, among other things, his failure for many years to cause meaningful dividends to be paid to the trust.
The case is In the Matter of the Judicial Settlement of the First Account Proceedings of Khosrow Jack Sassouni as Trustee.