Gail Kump, a former executive and director of Midpoint Trade Books, filed a lawsuit last week against Eric Kampmann, the majority owner of the distributor, and minority owner Christopher Bell. In the suit, Kump, who still retains a stake in Midpoint, charges the two with breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract for actions that led to Kump’s forced resignation from the company in 2009 and that have caused financial damage to Midpoint.
Among the charges, Kump alleges that Kampmann used funds and other Midpoint assets to help boost his publishing arm, Beaufort Books. While building Beaufort, the suit says, Kampmann stopped signing new clients for Midpoint beginning in 2005. In favoring Beaufort, Kampmann injured Midpoint and in June 2009 Kampmann informed Kump that Midpoint “was in dire financial straits” and asked her and Bell to guarantee a $500,000 loan. When Kump declined, Kampmann asked her to sell him her shares for $1 in order to get a loan. Kump again declined, and according to the suit, Kampmann’s attitude toward her became hostile. In August of 2009, Kampmann fired Kump and canceled the sales agreement Midpoint had with Kump’s Lily K, Inc., company which received a commission on sales. Since her termination, Kump said she has had no access to Midpoint’s records.
The suit seeks to remove Kampmann as CEO of Midpoint, the “judicial dissolution” of Midpoint, access to Midpoint’s financial records as well as monetary damages.