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Navidea says US court partially dismisses claims brought by former CEO

Navidea Biopharmaceuticals Inc. said a U.S. court limited the number of claims its former CEO could pursue against the company and its subsidiary Macrophage Therapeutics Inc.

The Dublin, Ohio-based company has been locked in a legal tussle against former executive Michael Goldberg, who agreed in August 2018 to resign as Navidea's CEO and a member of its board in exchange for leading Macrophage Therapeutics in the same capacity.

However, in February 2019, Navidea tapped Jed Latkin to replace Goldberg at Macrophage after it emerged that Goldberg had transferred all of Macrophage's assets in a new unit without seeking board approval and issued himself stock in the newly created subsidiary.

Navidea then filed a lawsuit against Goldberg for breach of his duties as CEO but was met with a counterclaim by the former executive for alleged breach of the agreement that made him Macrophage's CEO, as well as against his termination.

Navidea said the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected Goldberg's claims and ruled that the company's actions were valid. The court also rejected Goldberg's request to remove Claudine Bruck and Michael Rice from Macrophage's board where Goldberg continues to maintain a seat.

As far as Navidea's claims against Goldberg are concerned, the court said the company's complaint was time-barred since the conduct it objected to occurred more than three years prior to the actual filing against the former CEO.

The court said both Navidea and Goldberg may file motions for leave by Jan. 31, 2020, asking the court to deviate from an established rule or procedure. The most common use of a motion for leave is to seek an extension to an already-passed time frame.