Derivative Action

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Derivative Action

A lawsuit brought by a shareholder of a corporation on its behalf to enforce or defend a legal right or claim, which the corporation has failed to do.

A derivative action, more popularly known as a Stockholder's Derivative Suit, is derived from the primary right of the corporation to seek redress of legal grievances through the courts. The procedure to be followed in such an action is governed by the rules of federal Civil Procedure and state provisions, where applicable.

derivative action

n. a lawsuit brought by a corporation shareholder against the directors, management and/or other shareholders of the corporation, for a failure by management. In effect, the suing shareholder claims to be acting on behalf of the corporation, because the directors and management are failing to exercise their authority for the benefit of the company and all of its shareholders. This type of suit often arises when there is fraud, mismanagement, self-dealing and/or dishonesty which are being ignored by officers and the Board of Directors of a corporation. (See: corporation)

References in periodicals archive ?
We were able to terminate a stockholder derivative suit, which had significantly impacted the ability of management to grow and develop our business.
In our effort to be fully responsive to stockholder concerns, we have appointed this committee of two new directors to provide the Board of Directors a fresh, yet informed, analysis of the issues raised in recent stockholder derivative suits and a related stockholder demand," said Don Blankenship, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Massey Energy.