A Miami-Dade county jury has determined that América TeVe founder Omar Romay neglected his fiduciary duties and failed to act with good faith and fair dealing towards his partners causing multimillion dollar losses and therefore, must pay Caribevision Holdings Inc. almost $59 million dollars.
The verdict in the case of Caribevision Holdings Inc., et. al v. Omar Romay, et. al comes after a 3-week trial, extensively covered only by El Nuevo Herald, concluded yesterday. Litigation had been ongoing for almost 5 years.
At the heart of the complicated case were accusations of wrongdoing by both sides, which entered into a 50-50 Joint Venture in 2009, and had problems from the get-go, with the partners arguing over money and management of the company.
“This is an injustice. The verdict is totally wrong. I’m the one that had to put up the money to maintain the company’s operations and to make it survive, the partners didn’t put one dollar and I have to pay them for money I lent?” Romay tells Media Moves. “This case is full of allegations. There’s a significant difference between evidence and allegations. The jury did not understand what happened and got the facts wrong as well.”
But that’s not what Caribevisión’s attorneys argue. In a press release, Plaintiffs’ counsel say they presented evidence throughout the trial that showed “a multitude of unilateral actions taken by Romay without board meetings, board discussion or board approval” and that “each and every one of the actions taken by Romay were in an effort to secure a larger stake in the company because of a pending 2016 FCC reverse spectrum auction that could be worth billions of dollars to the company.”
The jury sided with Caribevisión, ending the trial with a $58,431,074.00 award against Defendants America Tevé (Channel 41), Promisa, Inc., Okeechobee Television, Corp., (“The America Tevé Entities”) and America CV CEO Omar Romay.
Romay has said he will definitely appeal the ruling, which he considers “ridiculous.”
The JV will continue to operate under the guidance of Court-appointed receiver Pedro Roig until the judge in the case determines otherwise. Romay continues to oversee the station’s programming and production.
Media Moves will expand on the ruling and Romay’s appeal in another story.