A family legal dispute that would not go away

An acrimonious legal challenge lingers behind the suspicious deaths of the philanthropist and 'inspiring leader' Barry Shermans

December 21, 2017 10:30

Four of Barry Sherman’s cousins had a long running (and to date unsuccessful) law suit against him claiming millions of dollars — and at the time of his death were reportedly preparing an appeal.

Kerry Winter and his three brothers alleged that Mr Sherman had cut them out of the pharmaceutical company he built up from Empire, their father Louis Winter’s company.

Mr Sherman worked for Empire and acquired it in 1967 after the elder Mr Winter’s death.

In their suit, the cousins argued that Mr Sherman had promised the executors of their parents’ wills that they would be included in the company and allowed to buy stock — and that that promise should have remained in place when Mr Sherman went on to set up Apotex. Instead, they said, they were cut out of the family fortune.

In a statement of claim, they said the executors of their father’s will were promised that the Winter children would have the right to work for the company once they reached 21 and buy five per cent of the issued shares.

They alleged that the purchase of Apotex was made possible from the proceeds of the sale of Empire, yet Mr Sherman “made no provision for (them) to work at Apotex and become shareholders”. This breached his fiduciary duty to them, the Winters claimed.

But the legal challenge, running for many years and becoming increasingly acrimonious, has not been successful so far.

The original suit was dismissed in 2015 but reinstated a year later. 

A judge ruled in favour of Mr Sherman this September but the cousins planned to appeal.

Kerry Winter told the Toronto Star earlier this year: “I don’t know if it’s so much about getting five, 10 or ‘X’ amount of millions.

“To me this is about, and I know it sounds a cliché, it’s really about making Barry Sherman accountable.”

December 21, 2017 10:30

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