There is another legal battle involving Carrier Lumber. This time, though, it is internal, and it involves two siblings.
Valerie Kordyban filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver asking the courts to direct her brother, Bill Kordyban Jr., to appoint her a director of Carrier Lumber, according to what she claims were her father’s wishes prior to his death in 2000.
In December 1999, the family made arrangements for Bill Kordyban Sr. to undergo cancer treatment in Germany. Prior to his departure, claims Valerie Kordyban, there was an important meeting at which time Bill Sr. “wanted to make his final wishes known as regards to shareholder percentages in Carrier Lumber.”
She maintains that, at that time, he set out that Bill Kordyban Jr. would hold 60 per cent of the shares and Valerie Kordyban would hold 40 per cent of the shares. Bill Jr. and Valerie would “work as a team” in managing the company, and that “disputes arising in relation to proposed courses of action requiring unanimity amongst the director in circumstances where the directors could not agree within a reasonable period of time would be arbitrated.”
“If we were not prepared to accept my father’s plans for his estate as laid out by him and to work together as a team, he was prepared to direct the sale of Carrier Lumber immediately,” she states.
On January 29, 2000, a “secondary will and testament” was drafted, and Valerie Kordyban claims it set out that she and Bill Jr. would be co-trustees of several trusts.
A second draft of the shareholders’ agreement was drafted and Valerie claims it contained provisions that were unacceptable to her, but that “Bill Jr. avoided engaging in discussions of the draft.”
She adds that since her father’s death her brother has failed to talk to her about important matters affecting the company and has failed to communicate adequately with her on Carrier Lumber’s affairs.
“Bill Jr., in my view, is attempting to run Carrier Lumber as if he were the sole proprietor, without regard to my position as co-owner, co-trustee of the majority of shares, and a family member. His exclusionary approach, which continues to this date, is epitomized by his refusal to vote in favour of my appointment as a director of Carrier Lumber at the Annual General Meeting of the company held on January 31, 2001, and by his statements, through counsel, that I should not be and will not be a director,” she claims in an affidavit.
And, as such, she cannot fulfill her obligations as a trustee to the company. With that in mind, she is asking the courts to make such a declaration.
Bill Jr. was unavailable for comment by press time.