Delaware does not have a cause of action for oppression per se, but it does offer relief for minority shareholder oppression-like claims applying other legal principles. Thus, oppression-like claims must be carefully pleaded in Delaware.
Since court’s in other states are likely to apply Delaware law to oppression-like claims to companies organized in Delaware, vigilance must also be exercised in pleading claims relating to Delaware corporations in non-Delaware courts. Some courts outside of Delaware, such as the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois, have upheld causes of action for shareholder oppression under Delaware law, while others, such as the District of New Jersey, have dismissed oppression claims for failure to state a claim under Delaware law.
Nixon v. Blackwell, 626 A.2d 1366 (Del. 1993), is a Delaware case that often cited for the proposition that Delaware does have a shareholder oppression remedy, and also for the proposition that it does not. The case states that “[t]he entire fairness test, correctly applied and articulated, is the proper judicial approach” to deciding claims brought by minority shareholders against those in control of the corporation. Thus, some conclude that oppression claims may be pursued under the entire fairness doctrine.
However, Nixon v. Blackwell also, contains language that seems to indicate otherwise: