UPDATE: Sundbecks settle family scrap before day in court

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

9:15 a.m. UPDATE – Court records show two sides of the Sundbeck family settled their differences before getting to federal court today.

An attorney for one side said terms are confidential.

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ABERDEEN – Dirty laundry comes to federal court today as members of the Sundbeck family argue about money and business relationships.
The case, with numerous sealed documents, revolves around claims by West Point businessman Milton O. Sundbeck’s son and daughter-in-law, Dan and Lucy Sundbeck.
Dan and Lucy, who live in Alabama, are minority shareholders in Southern Ionics Inc., the company in which Milton is a majority shareholder.
Judge Sharion Aycock will preside over the trial.
In one legal document, the judge terms Dan and Lucy’s claims a “tangled account” of the company and “the dejected breakdown of a father-son relationship.”
They insist Milton Sundbeck improperly used company assets for his own personal use and other improper dealings and used his power to toss Dan from the board of directors.
Among them, they criticize Milton’s purchase and renovation of The Ritz Theatre and Conference Center in downtown West Point.
Milton Sundbeck denies their allegations against him.
Dan and Lucy Sundbeck say they have suffered “economic and non-economic damages” totaling no less than $4.5 million because of Milton’s actions.
They also want unspecified punitive damages, an accounting of the company’s dealings under Milton’s direction and a fair buyout of their stock.
Since the lawsuit was filed in February 2010, much of the back-and-forth between lawyers and the court involves whether various “background facts” should be allowed into evidence at trial and what actions should be cut off by a statute of limitations.
Milton Sundbeck insists his son left the company after 18 years because he violated employee drug policies and never received a proposed severance deal because he never signed a non-competition agreement.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com