Thought Leadership / News
May 30, 2024 
 Press Releases
Gray Reed Obtains Eight-Figure Jury Verdict for Ammunition Clients Against Former Officer and Director, Competitor, and Co-Conspirators

HOUSTON, TX – Gray Reed recently won big for its clients, Plaintiffs Zinc Point Manufacturing, Inc. and Baron Global Distributors, LLC, securing a multi-million dollar jury verdict following a two-week civil trial in Montgomery County, Texas. 

Gray Reed Partner Justin Lipe, along with paralegal Paul Savoy, tried the case to a unanimous jury verdict, which resulted in: 

(i) $19 million awarded for breach of fiduciary duty (including $6.5 million in exemplary damages);

(ii) $23.5 million for tortious interference with prospective business relations (including $5 million in exemplary damages);

(iii) $1.9 million for breach of contract; and

(iv) $781,879 for violations of the Texas Theft Liability Act; and (v) $20 million for unjust enrichment. 

The jury also returned a take-nothing verdict on the counterclaims that defendants asserted against Plaintiffs and their majority owner, Walter Baronowski, III.

The lawsuit centered on Unio Global Trade, a company formed in secret by Zinc Point officer and co-owner, Adolfo Rafael Vivas (“Vivas”), to compete against the plaintiffs in the ammunition distribution and resale market.  The evidence at trial revealed that Vivas conspired with his son, nephew, and nephew’s wife—Adolfo Pedro Vivas, Defendant Michael Vogel and Defendant Marcela Vogel—to form the competing entity while Vivas continued to serve as a director and officer of Zinc Point.  Over the six months that followed, Vivas abused his fiduciary position by diverting Plaintiffs’ business opportunities, customers and vendor contacts to Unio Global and stealing ammunition components in furtherance of the competing venture. 

“Corporate officers have a fiduciary duty to act in good faith for the benefit of the companies they serve,"  Lipe says. "The evidence showed that the defendants not only disregarded these important duties, their conduct was deliberately and maliciously intended to destroy my clients’ businesses. We are extremely gratified that the jury recognized the egregious misconduct in this case and provided our clients with this tremendous verdict.”  

The case is styled Baron Global Distributors LLC, et al. v. Still American LLC, et al., Cause No. 22-10-14637; in the 284th Judicial District Court of Montgomery County, Texas.

About Gray Reed

A full-service Texas law firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Gray Reed provides legal services to companies ranging from start-up to Fortune 500 as well as high net worth individuals. Gray Reed attorneys assist clients with a myriad of legal issues including commercial litigation, corporate transactions, oil and gas, tax planning and litigation, real estate, construction, healthcare, trusts and estates, employment law, family law, intellectual property and bankruptcy. For more information, visit