Justice Eileen Bransten

Between 1976 and 1978, Loutit formed six trusts funded primarily with AIG stock he inherited from his father. In 2006, the family hired JPMorgan Chase Bank to manage the trusts, having a combined market value of $56 million, at the time. In 2009, the family brought an action in Massachusetts to recover the funds withheld by JPMorgan following its resignation as trustee. After action was settled, JPMorgan agreed to transfer all but $50,000 of the trusts’ assets to the successor trustee. The family asserted they could prove with a reasonable degree of certainty the amount the trusts would have accrued had JPMorgan timely transferred the trust assets to the successor trustee. They alleged the successor trustee had a detailed investment plan in place at the time JPMorgan withheld the trust assets, arguing they could therefore prove lost profits damages by examining changes in the value of the investments the successor trustee had planned to make during the time JPMorgan withheld funds from the trusts. The court denied JPMorgan’s motion to dismiss the family’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty based on its withholding of funds, finding the parties must conduct discovery regarding the nature and level of detail of the successor trustee’s investment plan.