Courts to decide the state of Sumner Redstone's health

03/01/2016 07:14 | 2

Courts to decide the state of Sumner Redstone's health

A judge has rejected a dismissal motion and set a trial to evaluate whether mogul Sumner Redstone has the mental capacity to make healthcare decisions. Redstone's ex-girlfriend and former caretaker Manuela Herzer, 51, filed a petition in LA County Superior Court late a year ago, claiming that the controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom was mentally incapacitated when he revoked a September 3, 2015 advance health directive. "The court waives normal discovery and cutoff dates in light of the age of Redstone", said Judge Cowan.

After the hearing, Redstone's attorneys said in a statement they are "confident" the court will ultimately determine he had the capacity to decide that Herzer "should have no role in his life whatsoever".

The case reached a major milestone on Monday when Judge David Cowan ordered that it go to trial, saying there was too much conflicting evidence to reach a decision.

He maintains that Redstone, the former board chairman of CBS Corp. and Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, is "tragically incapacitated".

The contentious legal dispute over media mogul Sumner Redstone's mental competency will be allowed to proceed. After claims from Herzer's team that Redstone's advanced age and declining health require minimal delay, the trial was scheduled for May 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Herzer's attorneys are planning to interview Dauman under oath, as well as Shari Redstone, Sumner's daughter, who opposed Dauman replacing her father as Viacom executive chairman earlier this month. Instead, the judge said, the court "may not permissibly dismiss the case short of a trial".

"The Court does not see how a person in charge of a public company in NY has the time or ability to look after Redstone even assuming his best of intentions", Judge Cowan wrote.

"What is more apparent is that nobody is sufficiently in charge of the ongoing care Redstone needs", Cowan wrote in a 21-page ruling. The judge also stated that it was unfortunate that there was no declaration from Redstone himself. But it appears as though the judge wishes to weigh evidence by medical experts who are dueling over whether Redstone is of sound mind.

O'Donnell contends Redstone was "brainwashed" by those around him and is "marooned and a prisoner in his own home in Beverly Park". Herzer, a onetime-girlfriend-turned-live-in-caretaker, claims that the elderly billionaire wasn't mentally capable of making the decision to kick...

The family has no financial interest in the case, the statement said.

Viacom shares were up 3.1 percent at $37.40 on Monday on Nasdaq.


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