Businesses and individuals regularly entrust other people to act as their
agents. From mortgage brokers to real estate agents, these people are
hired or appointed by a principal to act on their behalf with honesty
and loyalty. These agents are legally referred to as “fiduciaries”
and can be appointed to handle matters such as operations, finances, property
management, or other tasks. Fiduciaries have a basic duty to act in the
best interests of the principal and avoid using their relationship or
information gained as a result of the relationship for personal gain.
In the event that a fiduciary should purposefully abuse their position
of power or fail to satisfy their legal obligations, they can be considered to be in
breach of their fiduciary duty and be sued for any resulting damages.
What Are the Elements of a Successful Breach of Fiduciary Case?
Individuals and businesses who believe they have been betrayed by a fiduciary
must be able to prove several different elements in order to prevail in
court. These requirements are as follows:
1. A fiduciary relationship existed: A fiduciary is anyone who has both the power and the obligation to act
for the benefit of another party, usually in accordance with an employment
agreement or contract of some kind. A fiduciary can be an agent, employer,
broker, accountant, partner, or associate. If there is a mutual understanding
of trust and dependence between two parties, then a fiduciary relationship exists.
2. The fiduciary breached their duty: Fiduciaries may not engage in self-dealing, have conflicts of interest,
or withhold material information from the principal to the principal’s
detriment or for personal gain.
3. The breach of duty caused harm to the plaintiff or a benefit to the defendant: The fiduciary’s actions must have either caused the principal to
suffer real damages, such as a drop in stock prices or financial losses,
or caused the fiduciary to gain some sort of benefit they otherwise would
not have received.
Top-Rated Business Litigation Attorney in Houston
If you believe a fiduciary has breached their duty to act in your business’
best interests, a knowledgeable
Houston business litigation lawyer from Patterson, P.C. can advocate on your behalf help you pursue legal
action against the responsible parties. We may be able to help you recover
lost profits, punitive damages, and compensatory damages resulting from
To find out more about what our team of Texas Super Lawyers® can do for you,
schedule a free consultation or call our office today at (713) 489-1215.