Gaskill v. Robbins

282 S.W.3d 306 (2009)

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Gaskill v. Robbins

Kentucky Supreme Court
282 S.W.3d 306 (2009)

Facts

John Robbins (defendant) and Julie Gaskill (plaintiff), an oral surgeon, married. During the marriage, Robbins helped Gaskill set up her sole oral-surgery practice and performed some office work and errands for the practice. Gaskill brought in new patients, worked hard, and managed the practice wisely, resulting in a very successful practice. Gaskill later filed for divorce. There was no dispute that the practice was part of the marital estate, but Gaskill and Robbins disagreed on the value of the practice’s goodwill. Gaskill’s expert, Steve Wheeler, assigned a value of zero to the practice’s goodwill because Gaskill’s role in the practice was nonmarketable. Wheeler valued the practice at about $222,000. Robbins’s expert, Richard Callahan, estimated the value of the goodwill and included it in his estimate of the practice’s value, $670,000. The trial court found that Callahan’s estimate was more credible than Wheeler’s and valued the practice at about $670,000. Gaskill appealed, arguing that the trial court should not have included goodwill in the value of the practice. The court of appeals reversed on the goodwill issue, recognizing that some businesses do not have goodwill. Robbins appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Noble, J.)

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