ST. HELENA -- A San Francisco judge ruled in favor of nearly $30 million in damages and attorney's fees regarding St. Helena-based Joseph Phelps Vineyards' compensation of Tom Shelton, longtime chief executive officer who died in July 2008, and former winemaker Craig Williams, according to a statement from their attorney.
"Tom Shelton and Craig Williams built the Phelps Winery and reputation," said Forrest Hainline of Goodwin Proctor
San Francisco Superior Court judge Peter Busch on Feb. 10 affirmed an arbitration award from early 2009 of $24.1 million in damages plus 10 percent annual interest regarding what stakes Mr. Phelps and Mr. Williams had earned in the winery.
The judge also granted $2 million in attorney's fees individually against founder Joe Phelps, President Bill Phelps, Vice President and Winemaking Director Damian Parker and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer David Lockwood in their counterclaim that the two men breached fiduciary duty.
Parties connected with the winery have filed a notice that they intend to appeal the ruling, according to Mr. Hainline.