KELLY WILKINS writes this feature every year and is an authority on Arizona verdict results and trends. A Partner with Snell & Wilmer LLP,
Kelly advises, defends and tries cases for companies that make products. She helps businesses with recalls and regulations.
She advises on data privacy and security issues such as data breaches, contracts, data collection and sharing. She leads and writes
for the Product Liability Update and Data Privacy and Protection Blog, and on Twitter @KellyLWilkins.
TROY DANIEL ROBERTS is an associate with Snell & Wilmer LLP. His practice is relatively broad and includes product liability litigation,
commercial litigation, privacy and data security, and the emerging areas of law regarding unmanned aircraft systems, or “drones.”
Troy is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve after serving nine years active duty, and he holds a fixed wing and
rotary wing commercial pilot rating. You can follow him on Twitter @TroyRobertsLaw.
10K, LLC v. W.V.S.V. Holdings, LLC and Conley Wolfswinkel,
Maricopa County Superior Court, CV2003-0083623
This was the retrial of a case that we reported in our 2007 article. Plaintiff 10K LLC is a group of
investors that owned 10,000 acres of real property in Sun Valley. 10K’s Manager was Phoenix Holdings II LLC (“Phoenix Holdings”), controlled by Robert Burns and Brent Hickey. Phoenix Holdings was empowered to sell the 10K property, but only with the consent of two-thirds of the 10K members.
Phoenix Holdings, on behalf of 10K, agreed to purchase an additional 3,000 acres of property next to the
10K property, and to sell the entire 13,000 acres to Breycliffe LLC (“Breycliffe”). Breycliffe was unable to
close the transaction. Without full disclosure to or consent from the 10K members, Phoenix Holdings entered
into a new agreement to sell 10K’s property to Breycliffe at below-market price and in exchange for a profit
participation to Phoenix Holdings. Over the 10K members’ objections and instructions otherwise, Phoenix
Holdings then brokered the sale of Breycliffe’s interest in the new purchase agreement to W.V.S.V. Holdings
LLC (“WVSV”), controlled by Conley Wolfswinkel, in exchange for another profit participation. 10K sued
Phoenix Holdings, WVSV and Wolfswinkel seeking damages based on Phoenix Holdings’ breaches of its fiduciary duties to 10K, which were aided and abetted by WVSV and Wolfswinkel, and seeking to invalidate the
2002 agreement with Breycliffe so that 10K could regain control over its property. In the 2015 trial, the judge
found that WVSV and Wolfswinkel aided and abetted Phoenix Holdings’ breach of its fiduciary duty and found
that 10K had sustained $288 million in compensatory damages. The judge found Phoenix Holdings, Burns
and Hickey collectively 70 percent at fault, and WVSV and Wolfswinkel jointly 30 percent at fault. The judge
declined to award punitive damages or to invalidate the earlier agreement with Breycliffe.
James Michael Humphrey et al. v. State of Arizona,
Maricopa County Superior Court, CV2011-09199584
This was a road-design case where the crash occurred at the same highway
location on Interstate 10 as a double-fatality only nine months before.
Pamela Humphrey, 53, was driving and Ann Quinn, 63, was her passenger.
TOP 10 LARGEST ARIZONA VERDICTS IN 2015