How a Delaware Supreme Court ruling affects Blue Bell's future

Published: Jun. 19, 2019 at 5:02 PM CDT
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Delaware's Supreme Court has overturned the dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit against one the country's largest ice cream makers, Blue Bell Creameries, after a 2015 listeria outbreak that killed three people.

Blue Bell Creameries is based in Brenham, but the company is incorporated in Delaware. That is why a shareholder sued the corporation in a trial court there, explained Saurabh Vishnubhakat, associate professor of law at Texas A&M University

"The idea is that [this shareholder claims that] the board of directors behaved in a way that wasn't in the corporation's best interest," said Vishnubhakat on First News at Four. "So the shareholders are saying, we're going to take matters into our own hands, and on behalf of the company, sue its own board."

The initial trial court threw out the lawsuit based on some problems with its filing. The plaintiffs appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court, which decided that the problems weren't so severe or of the kind that would require dismissing the case.

"The lawsuit has been revived," Vishnubhakat said. "So the Supreme Court is sending the case back down to the trial court, and that'll move forward just like any other lawsuit."

The full conversation is in the video player above.