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Posted by: Landry Butler on Mar 21, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David L. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, A&W Supply, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

Kevin A. Dean, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Clayton Eddy Powers.

Judge(s): FRIERSON

This appeal arose from a contract dispute between the plaintiff employee and the defendant corporation regarding shares of corporate stock. The parties signed an agreement in June 1993, which provided that the plaintiff would become vested with the right to receive two and one-half percent of the total number of issued and outstanding shares of the corporation’s capital stock so long as the plaintiff remained an employee in good standing with the corporation from the date of said agreement until the vesting date of December 31, 2001. It is undisputed that the plaintiff remained an employee in good standing with the corporation on the vesting date. Following the vesting date, the corporation never delivered stock certificates to the plaintiff or recognized the plaintiff as a shareholder within the company. The corporation terminated the plaintiff’s employment in October 2014, and in November 2014, the plaintiff made his first inquiry about his ownership interest in the stock to which he was entitled under the agreement. The defendant company denied that the plaintiff owned any stock in the company. The plaintiff thereafter filed an action against the corporation, seeking specific performance, declaratory judgment, and damages resulting from breach of contract. The plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment, requesting a determination that the plaintiff was automatically vested in two and one-half percent of the total number of shares of the corporation’s capital stock. The defendant also filed a motion for summary judgment, averring that because the corporation never took action to transfer the shares of capital stock to the plaintiff on the vesting date, the plaintiff’s cause of action accrued in 2001, rendering the plaintiff’s present action time barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The trial court determined that the plaintiff was vested with ownership of the shares on the vesting date and that the plaintiff’s action was not barred by the statute of limitations. Discerning no error, we affirm.