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Judge dismisses Promega counterclaim

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn has dismissed claims of conspiracy, fraud, and racketeering against former Promega Corp. manager Paul Shain in connection with an alleged scheme by disgruntled shareholders to take over the Fitchburg biotech company, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Bailey-Rihn threw out counterclaims filed by Promega and CEO Bill Linton against Shain, ruling that no evidence has been presented to prove that Shain acted with malice or that his actions resulted in damage to the company. However, she dismissed the claims without prejudice, leaving open a 30-day window for Linton and Promega attorneys to support their counterclaims.

Shain was interim general manager of Promega’s North American operations from 2012 to 2014 and served as a board member for eight years. Linton and the company claim that Shain and fellow shareholders Nathan Brand and Ted Keller, who filed suit against Promega in 2016, plotted to take over Promega after a failed bid to get the company to buy back their shares at inflated prices. The company alleges the trio planned to remove Linton, install Shain as CEO, and sell the company within five years.

In their suit, Brand and Kellner claim that Linton, who founded Promega in 1978, refused to let them earn a fair return on their investment.

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