In re Zhuang N.Y.L.J. October 15, 2021 (Surr. Ct. NY Co.)(Mella, S.)



Harnik Law Firm represented the administrator of an estate which sought turnover from the decedent’s girlfriend and her brother substantial assets which the fiduciary alleged belonged to the estate and two companies that decedent owned. The case was complicated by the fact that after the decedent died, the girlfriend and her brother abandoned the US and returned to China where they could not be located. Nevertheless, the administrator pursued them and won a judgment against them on default albeit not against the corporation of which the decedent was not a majority shareholder, the court holding that the administrator cannot seek to recover on the Estate’s behalf an injury that was suffered by the corporation and not by the estate itself. The court added that, for a wrong against a corporation, a shareholder has no individual cause of action even though he loses the value of his investment. The case In re Zhuang was reported in the New York Law Journal as a case of particular interest on October 15, 2021 and it was also written up in the NYSBA Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal 2022 Vol. 55 No. 1.