On May 15, 2017, the Michigan Supreme Court issued its decision in Frank v Linkner, which Gerard Mantese argued in the Supreme Court for the minority members. In its ruling, the Court held that members claiming wrongdoing by those in control can toll or suspend the statute of limitations for oppression actions when those in control fraudulently conceal their wrongdoing. The Michigan Supreme Court thus overruled several decisions holding to the contrary, including Baks v Maroun.
In response to Mr. Mantese's further argument, the Court also left open the possibility that members might have six years - not just three years - to pursue control groups for non-damage remedies, such as a court-ordered buyout of their membership interest at fair value or equitable disgorgement of misappropriated funds. Finally, the Court held that the statute of limitations begins to run - and suit can be filed - any time a defendant's actions substantially interfere in a member's interest, even if the financial damage occurs later.
Accordingly, Frank v Linkner provides oppressed members and shareholders with even greater avenues to obtain a remedy against those in control who abuse their authority.