A formers Toys “R” Us store | Source: The Toy Book

A lawsuit filed in March of last year against former Toys “R” Us (TRU) executives continues to creep slowly toward a trial.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, attorneys representing the TRU Creditors Litigation Trust are continuing their push to put former TRU leadership on trial in front of a Jury. The focus leans heavily on the much-discussed bonuses received by certain TRU executives in the days prior to the former toy giant filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017.

A jury trial was one of the initial requests in the 111-page complaint that was filed in New York last year, alleging “fraud, misrepresentation, and deceit,” “negligent misrepresentation,” “negligent concealment and negligent omission,” and various other breaches of fiduciary duty by some of the company’s top executives and corporate directors from its private equity owners — including KKR, Bain Capital, and Vornado Realty Trust — in connection with the bankruptcy and liquidation of the retailer as it played out between 2017-2019.

Last August, The Toy Association — which maintains a Toys “R” Us Bankruptcy Information hubreported that the case had moved from New York to Virginia and that some Association members had received subpoenas.

Related: WHP Global Acquires Controlling Interest in Tru Kids Inc., Toys “R” Us

In an update issued for members of the TRU Creditors Litigation Trust last month, attorneys for the Trust revealed the filing of a Second Amended Complaint. The Trust is pursuing two categories of claims: “(i) Creditor claims against the former TRU directors and officers for fraud, intentional and negligent misrepresentations, and concealments, and (ii) Claims belonging to TRU against its former directors and officers for breach of fiduciary duties.”

Defendants in the suit include former Toys “R” Us CEO and Chairman of the Board David Brandon; former Chief Financial Officer Michael Short; and Richard Barry, who served as executive vice president and global chief merchandising officer. Other defendants include Joshua Bekenstein and Matthew S. Levin of Bain Capital; Paul E. Raether and Nathaniel H. Taylor of KKR; Joseph Macnow and Wendy A. Silverstein of Vornado Realty Trust; and Richard Goodman.

The court dismissed a motion by the defendants to have the case thrown out, and a recent motion to have statements by Brandon, Short, and Barry considered “classified.”

A trial by jury is set to begin on November 1, 2021.

TRU Kids Inc — current owner of the Toys “R” Us brand — is listed as a Class B beneficiary of the TRU Creditors Litigation Trust. Attorneys at Dovel & Luner are representing the Trust in this case in hopes of recovering nearly $800 million to cover goods shipped to TRU in the weeks prior to its liquidation.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.