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Claiming Damages for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A common occurrence in many business settings, fiduciary relationships serve to ensure the highest degree of care and loyalty to a certain party. Fiduciary relationships are both legal and ethical, and they are often created to benefit another party financially. Establishing fiduciary duties from one party to another assures that the fiduciary will not act in a self-interested manner. While fiduciaries are contractually obliged to uphold their responsibilities, litigation may have to occur if they violate their promised duties.

If you are someone who has had a fiduciary violate their trust relationship with you, you may have experienced losses as a result. While the incident is undoubtedly frustrating for you, the financial costs incurred are not irrecoverable. By pursuing legal action, you may be able to receive compensation for the damages they incurred.

How Does a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Occur?

When a person agrees to act as a fiduciary, they promise to act in the best interest of the other party. Thus, a breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the fiduciary acts in a self-serving or self-interested manner. Most breaches take place due to either negligence or deception on the fiduciary’s behalf. Examples of breach of fiduciary duty include but are not limited to:

  • Sharing an employer’s secrets
  • Acting in a way that benefits a competitor
  • Embezzlement
  • Failing to oblige to the employer’s requests
  • Acting negligent in assigned duties
  • Generating profit for oneself at the cost of the employer

Elements of a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim

There are four main elements that must be demonstrated in a successful breach of fiduciary duty claim. By providing substantial evidence in support of these specific components, it is possible for the plaintiff to recover damages that the defendant caused. A plaintiff must be prepared to show that:

  • A fiduciary relationship existed where the fiduciary owed a duty to the principal
  • The fiduciary acted in a manner that contradicted, or breached, their expected duties
  • The principal suffered damages
  • The damages incurred were a direct result of the breach of fiduciary duty

Statute of Limitations

According to California’s Code of Civil Procedure section 343, the statute of limitations for a breach of fiduciary duty is four years. Depending on the circumstance, your case may even suit a cause of action for constructive fraud instead which has a statute of limitations of three years. As a result, it is important to contact an attorney, discuss your options, and file a claim as soon as possible.

In Need of a Civil Litigation Lawyer?

If you have experienced damages due to someone else’s breach of fiduciary duty, you may be entitled to receiving compensation from the defendant. To determine if business litigation is right for your circumstances, it is vital that you reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A breach of fiduciary claim can be complex, which is why an established law firm like SAC Attorneys LLP is here to help. To discuss your legal options and maximize your chances of success, please do not hesitate to contact us at (408) 436-0789 or through our website today.

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