California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division
JOANNE WILLIAMSON, as Successor Trustee, etc., Plaintiff and Appellant,
THOMAS BROOKS et al., Defendants and Respondents.
1/31/17 (unmodified version)
Court County Super. Ct. No. 1457582 of Santa Barbara Thomas
P. Anderle, Judge
Law, Barry Clifford Snyder and Joseph R. Billings, for
Plaintiff and Appellant.
Mackall, Peter A. Umoff and Alan D. Condren, for Defendants
and Respondents Barton E. Clemens, Jr., William Morgan and
& Henzell and Jana S. Johnston, for Defendant and
Respondent Thomas Brooks.
ORDER MODIFYING OPINION AND DENYING NON-PARTY'S
MOTION FOR MODIFICATION [NO CHANGE IN JUDGMENT]
court, on its own motion, orders that the opinion filed on
January 31, 2017 be modified as follows:
Delete the first paragraph on page 1 in its entirety and
replace it with the following paragraph: “The
beneficiary of a trust asserts the trustees neglected to
distribute trust assets to her. She claims as damages her
inability to use those assets to prevent the loss of her
home. We conclude the beneficiary suffered no compensable
loss as a result of the trustees' alleged neglect.”
first sentence beginning with the word
“Furthermore” and ending with the word
“beneficiaries” of the second paragraph on page 9
is deleted and replaced with the following sentence:
“Furthermore, most breaches of trust harm the trust
itself and thus, to the extent that such breaches result in
monetary liability for the trustee, they would result in
liability to the trust and not the beneficiaries.”
page 10, of the first full paragraph, first sentence, the
phrase beginning with the word “Although” and
ending with the word “point, ” is deleted.
is no change in the judgment.
motion to modify the opinion filed by non-party Matthew P.
Matiasevich is denied.
beneficiary of a trust seeks the value of
“opportunities lost” resulting from the
trustees' refusal or neglect to distribute trust assets
to the beneficiary. Here we conclude that such conduct is not
actionable. There is a difference between such a claim and an
actionable claim for losses to the trust resulting from the
trustees' breach of fiduciary duty.
Morgan (William) created an irrevocable subtrust for the
benefit of his daughter, Beverly Morgan
(Beverly). At its creation, the subtrust had an
equity value of $67, 500. Over the next four years, the
cotrustees, Barton E. Clemens, Jr., and Thomas Brooks,
increased the subtrust's equity value to over $725, 000.
Claiming that she did not receive timely notice of the
subtrust, Beverly caused the successor trustee, Joanne
Williamson, to sue Clemens, Brooks, Connie Morgan (Connie)
and William (collectively “respondents”) for
damages. Williamson alleges that if Beverly had been made
aware of the subtrust, she would have used its assets to
prevent the loss of her home.
a four-day trial, the trial court entered judgment in favor
of respondents. It found that Clemens and Brooks did not
breach their fiduciary duties and that neither the subtrust
nor Beverly ...