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Date: 03-24-2000

Case Style: Claire Maglica v. Anthony Maglica

Case Number: 713117

Judge: David Velasquez

Court: Superior Court, Orange County, California

Plaintiff's Attorney: John W. Keker and Karin Kramer of Keker & Van Nest, San Francisco, California and Wendy J. Thrum and Helene M. Linker

Defendant's Attorney: Dennis M. Wasser of Wasser, Rosenson & Carter, Los Angeles, California; Robert C. Weiss and Roy L. Anderson of Lyon & Lyon, Los Angeles, California;

Description: Quantum meruit - Claire and Anthony Maglica were not married but lived together and worked in a business solely owned by Anthony. Anthony Maglica, a Croatian immigrant, founded his own machine shop business, Mag Instrument, in 1955. He got divorced in 1971 and kept the business. That year he met Claire Halasz, an interior designer. They got on famously, and lived together, holding themselves out as man and wife -- hence Claire began to using the name Claire Maglica -- but never actually got married. And, while Claire worked side by side building the business, Anthony claimed that he never agreed to give Claire a share of the business. When the business was incorporated in 1974 all shares went into Anthony's name. Anthony was the president and Claire was the secretary. They were paid equal salaries from the business after its incorporation. In 1978 the business began to manufacture flashlights and the business boomed. Mag Instruments is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In 1992 Claire discovered that Anthony was trying to transfer stock to his children but not her, and the couple split up in October. In June 1993 Claire sued Anthony for breach of contract, breach of partnership agreement, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and quantum meruit.

Outcome: Settled for a reported $29 million.

Plaintiff's Experts: Unknown

Defendant's Experts: Unknown

Comments: This case was tried in 1994 and the jury returned a verdict for plaintiff for $85 million but the resulting judgment was reversed.

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