Seventh Largest Verdict in Massachusetts in 2013
After six days of trial in four consolidated cases, an Essex Superior Court jury
returned verdicts in favor of Cedar Properties Inc., Steven Tarshi and Paul Tarshi on July
24, 2013. The trial encompassed four separate lawsuits involving as plaintiffs brothers,
Steven and Paul Tarshi, and Cedar Properties Inc., and defendants, the Mary Beth
McInnis and Lauren Tarshi, Administrators of the estate of a third brother, the late
attorney James Tarshi.
In one suit, Steven and Paul Tarshi claimed that they each held a 25 percent
beneficial interest in 22 Woodland Realty Trust, owner of an apartment building at 22
Woodland St. in Lawrence, and that their brother, James, converted income from that
property for personal use. The defendants denied both that Paul was a beneficiary and
that James deprived them of any funds.
Two of the lawsuits concerned Cedar Properties Inc., a corporation that owns
apartment buildings in Lawrence. Steven claimed that he and James formed the
corporation to buy apartments; that he was and is a 50 percent owner of that corporation
(despite not being issued any stock certificates); and that James converted money
belonging to the corporation for his own use, harming it and depriving Steven of his share
of corporate profits. The defendants denied any such agreement and asserted that if there
ever had been such an agreement, it was barred by the statute of limitations.
In the fourth action, Steven claimed that he was a 50 percent owner of an
apartment building in Methuen, although the title stood in James' name alone. The
defendants denied Steven was an owner and asserted that, in any event, the statute of
frauds and of limitations precluded recovery.
The summary of the plaintiffs' awards follows: