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Bulk of $750 million Streck feud is over, but Nebraska high court gives daughter another shot

Bulk of $750 million Streck feud is over, but Nebraska high court gives daughter another shot

The war is over when it comes to the $765 million that will go to the foundation of the Omaha-area inventor and businessman who created Streck Laboratories.

Connie Ryan, CEO of Streck, said in a statement that the company will not appeal the Nebraska Supreme Court’s decision last month to uphold a judge’s determination that Streck owed more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to the estate of its late founder, Wayne Ryan. The foundation created by Ryan and his late wife, Eileen, is to receive that money.

The value of the company came into dispute after Connie Ryan, the Ryans’ daughter, took over Streck in 2013. In time, Wayne Ryan, who had retired, wanted to cash out his shares and wanted Connie Ryan to seek a sale of the company. Wayne Ryan died in 2017.

“The recent Nebraska Supreme Court decision concludes a lengthy and disappointing process,” Connie Ryan said in the statement. “We have been planning for this potential outcome and the financial transaction, while significant, will have minimal impact on our company. Streck operations will continue as normal and staffing levels will not be affected.”

The La Vista-based medical diagnostic company, which employs more than 400 people, isn’t completely done with family infighting, however. In a different legal decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that another daughter, Stacy Ryan, has a right to continue her claim that she was underpaid for shares given to her in 1985. A Sarpy County district judge inappropriately dismissed those claims by ruling that Stacy Ryan did not file them within the statute of limitations for such claims, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled this week.

In that case, Stacy Ryan alleges that in 2012, Streck incorrectly valued the shares she was given at $9.5 million. Their true value was $23 million, Stacy Ryan says.

The high court’s ruling doesn’t mean that it agrees with Stacy Ryan. Instead, it gives her a right to pursue those claims at the trial level again.

As for the $765 million judgment that is now uncontested, Marnie Jensen, an attorney for the victorious Ryan Foundation, pointed out that it will benefit several Nebraska and Midwestern charities for years to come.

Connie Ryan agreed: “We are pleased that these funds should result in continued financial benefits for the love of science, education and Catholic faith Dr. Ryan supported throughout his life. These institutions include Creighton University Medical School, Creighton University, Jesuit Order of Creighton University, University of Missouri and Marquette University (honoring his lifetime mentor and friend Father Henry Casper). Throughout his life, Dr. Ryan made donations to these institutions he loved, and communicated to me his desire for continued support of these entities following his passing.”

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Reporter - Courts

Todd Cooper covers courts, lawyers, trials, legal issues, the justice system and government wrongdoing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @CooperonCourts. Phone: 402-444-1275.

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