Sunday, March 14, 2010

Religious Group Lacks Standing To Sue For-Profit Board For Breach of Duty

The Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard reported yesterday on a state trial court decision denying standing to the religious non-profit organization Sikh Dharma International in its lawsuit against the head of the for-profit natural foods company, Golden Temple, and three members of the Unto Infinity board. Unto Infinity was charged with overseeing the businesses operated by the Sikh spiritual community created by Yogi Bhajan. Golden Temple has 330 employees in Oregon, 100 in Europe, and annual revenues of $125 million. The lawsuit charges that defendants are breaching their fiduciary duties through enriching themselves at the expense of the community's assets. Still pending before the court is the question of whether individual Sikh ministers who are members of Sikh Dharma International have standing to pursue the claims separate from the organization. The court is expected to issue its preliminary views on that issue before a scheduled May hearing.