Greenetrack settles lawsuit with dissatisfied shareholders for one million dollars

There is a Legal Notice starting on Page 7 of this newspaper, which informs current shareholders of Greenetrack (as of September 5, 2018) of plans to settle a lawsuit filed by dissatisfied shareholders for one million dollars. A hearing will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018 in Greene County Circuit Court by Judge William E. Hereford to determine the fairness, adequacy and reasonableness of the settlement, including the Plaintiffs’ attorney’s fee. Any shareholder wishing to object to or speak on the settlement must inform the Court in writing, at least seven (7) days prior to the hearing in the manner set forth in the legal notice. This lawsuit began over five years ago, on February 19, 2013 when the Plaintiffs, former Greenetrack employees, Ronnie Lavendar, Harvey Jones and others sued the Defendants: Luther Winn Jr, Emma Sugars, Jimmie Paster, Rodney Pham, Elizabeth Byrd and Greenetrack alleging mismanagement, gross waste of corporate assets and failure to carry out fiduciary responsibilities, as officers and Board members of the corporation. After several years of litigation including efforts by Greenetrack to secure a hearing at the Supreme Court of Alabama, the parties agreed to mediation and a settlement discussion, which resulted in the settlement described in the legal notice. Under the settlement, the Plaintiffs will dismiss all claims against Greenetrack and the individual defendants. “ In consideration of Plaintiffs actions, the Defendant’s directors and officers liability insurer shall pay one million dollars in settlement; with one third, to be paid to the Plaintiffs attorneys and two thirds as dividends to all current shareholders, with the exception that no dividends will be paid to the named Defendants including Winn, Sugars, Pater, Pham and Byrd. As part of the settlement, the Defendant Greenetrack directors agree to participate in a corporate governance training session to be conducted by an independent Certified Public Accountant. Attorney for the Plaintiffs, John Parker Yates of Bradley, Mauro and Yates of Birmingham, said he was waiting for a certified list of shareholders and the number of shares they own, from Greenetrack, to determine the amount of money each shareholder will receive. He estimated that there were 200 to 300 shareholders who own differing amounts of stock. The payment schedule will be available at the Clerk of Court’s office prior to the October 12 fairness hearing. Luther Winn Jr., through his lawyers issued a statement in response to the settlement. He stated, “The essence of the lawsuit is that the Plaintiffs questioned the Board’s management of the company and the Board’s execution of their fiduciary responsibilities. Greenetrack unequivocally denies all allegations and insinuations of wrongdoing in the lawsuit. Every Board member has always been governed by their good faith belief that their actions were in the best interest of Greenetrack and its shareholders. “Greenetrack has vigorously defended this lawsuit including filing a petition to be heard by the Alabama Supreme Court. The Supreme Court took the matter under submission over one year ago. Despite Greenetrack’s strong defenses, the matter has remained pending for more than five and one half years. Since the complaint was filed, no evidence has been produced to support the allegations of wrongdoing and Greenetrack has not had an opportunity to have its day in Court for vindication. There is also no way to predict when that day will come and how much more time and money will be expended during the interim. “Therefore, a decision was made that it would be in the best interest of the company and its shareholders to finally end this litigation through settlement. The Settlement Agreement as well as the Court record shows that there has been no determination or adjudication of wrongdoing by any Greenetrack Board member. There is also no admission or wrongdoing by the Board. “ Importantly, the settlement provides that all Greenetrack shareholders, except the named defendant Board members, will receive a dividend disbursement. Everyone knows that Nat Winn is a fighter, but given the economy in Greene County, the Board has agreed to this settlement so that ultimately the Greenetrack shareholders can receive this extra benefit and the Board can devote its attention to conducting the management of the company.”