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Lawsuit Targets Kyanite Mining

BUCKINGHAM – The Dixon Family, a prominent Buckingham family that literally built a multi-million dollar company on a rock, found itself in Buckingham County Circuit Court on Monday defending not only the company but also their management of it.

Although the listed defendant is The Disthene Group, Incorporated, the lawsuit primarily focuses on Gene Dixon, Jr., CEO of Disthene, and his son Guy, a director of Disthene and the president of Kyanite Mining.

The Disthene Group, Inc. includes Kyanite Mining Corporation, Blue Rock Resources, L.L.C., and the Cavalier Hotel.

Curtis Dixon Colgate, Sharon Marie Newcomb, and Marion J. Colgate, Sr., who initiated the lawsuit, are seeking the dissolution of the company and the distribution of its assets on a pro-rata basis to all the shareholders.

According to court documents, Curtis Dixon Colgate and Sharon Marie Newcomb are the children of the late Jeanne Dixon Colgate, the sister of Gene Dixon, Jr., and the daughter of the late Gene Dixon, Sr. and Mallie M. Dixon. Marion J. “Boyd” Colgate, Sr. is the widower of Jeanne.

Court documents filed for the plaintiffs indicate that Curtis and Sharon have 42 percent interest in the company.

The 30-page complaint alleges mismanagement of the company and its properties, and efforts by the defendant “to squeeze Curtis and Sharon out of their 42 percent interest in the Company.”

Near the beginning of its 13-page response denying those allegations, Disthene declares that “any allegations relating to actions or omissions of Gene, Guy, and/or their family in any capacity other than as an officer, director, or employee of Disthene are irrelevant to this case.”

Most of Monday was spent on opening statements by John H. Craddock, an attorney with LeClairRyan, which is representing the plaintiffs; and, Alan Wingfield, an attorney with Troutman Sanders, representing the defendant. By mid-afternoon, lawyers for the plaintiffs began calling witnesses to the stand.

With the exception of the plaintiffs and defendant along with their respective legal teams, less than a dozen people were seated in the courtroom.

Judge Jane Marum Roush, a circuit court judge in Fairfax County, is presiding. The trial is expected to take several weeks.