Delaware judge refuses to fast-track certain claims in post-merger lawsuit against Trump Media

Apr 30, 2024, 2:32 PM

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware judge on Tuesday granted a request by attorneys for Donald Trump and Trump Media & Technology Group, parent company of his Truth Social platform, to slow down a lawsuit filed by two cofounders of the company.

Vice Chancellor Morgan Zurn said Andrew Litinsky and Wesley Moss, former contestants on Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice,” failed to justify putting certain claims in their lawsuit on a fast track for court rulings.

Litinsky and Moss filed a lawsuit in February claiming that Trump Media planned to dilute their stake in the company as part of a merger that took it public in late March. A different judge agreed to fast-track that lawsuit given the impending merger date. However, the plaintiffs’ concerns about their limited liability company’s 8.6% stake in Trump Media being diluted were mooted when defense attorneys assured the judge that the LLC, United Atlantic Ventures, would suffer no merger-related dilution.

Following the merger, UAV filed a second amended complaint claiming that Trump and other defendants improperly imposed a “lock up” provision preventing UAV from selling its shares in the public company for six months. They simultaneously argued that the case should remain on the fast track because they would be harmed if they have to wait six months to sell their shares.

Zurn noted that UAV was on notice about the lockup provision on Feb. 12 as the result of a filing that day with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That was followed by two other SEC filings documenting the lockup provision.

UAV also wanted Zurn to fast-track arguments on its request for an “anti-suit injunction” prohibiting Trump Media from pursuing a Florida lawsuit against UAV. That lawsuit alleges that, because of pre-merger mismanagement by Moss and Litinsky, UAV has no right to own shares in the newly public Trump Media company. The Florida lawsuit also challenges UAV’s assertion that it has the right to appoint two directors to the Trump Media board.

Attorneys for Trump Media argue that the Florida lawsuit does not violate the Delaware court order because UAV in fact received its post-merger shares. They also say the venue provision does not apply to Trump Media and Technology Group.

Zurn said she was reluctant to expedite arguments on whether the Florida lawsuit complies with the venue provision, and whether its claims should be governed by Delaware law. She did say, however, that arguments on whether the filing of the Florida lawsuit violated the March 15 court order in Delaware “should be heard rapidly.”

National News

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Delaware judge refuses to fast-track certain claims in post-merger lawsuit against Trump Media