Sumner Redstone Health Lawsuit to Go Forward

Judge cites doctor’s report on ex-Viacom chief in denial of dismissal bid

A lawsuit over the healthcare of Viacom chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone can go forward, a judge ruled on Monday.

The Los Angeles Times reports that L.A. Superior Court Judge David J. Cowan denied a motion from Redstone’s team to dismiss the suit, brought by the erstwhile Viacom head’s former companion.

Manuela Herzer filed suit in November after being removed from Redstone’s will, as well as being ousted as his healthcare proxy.

The judge set a trial date of May 6 for the matter.

In making the decision, Cowan cited a report by Dr. Stephen Read, from Herzer’s side.

“This report provides considerable factual details … sufficient to raise a reasonable question about whether Redstone lacks capacity,” the judge noted. “Suffice it to say, though not conclusive as to capacity, that those details are difficult to read in describing how this man is hanging onto life.”

Cowan also shot down a request by Redstone’s legal team seeking to seal documents, some of which pertain to physician’s findings on Redstone.

In a statement to TheWrap, Redstone’s attorney, Gabrielle Vidal, said that the judge’s decision Monday “does not change the fact that Ms. Herzer’s motives are purely financial.”

“Surviving a motion to dismiss is a far cry from winning her petition. This decision is not a finding on the merits and it does not change the fact that Ms. Herzer’s motives are purely financial,” Vidal, of Loeb & Loeb, said. “We are confident that when the Court has evaluated the evidence it will determine that Mr. Redstone had capacity to change his health care directive and that Ms. Herzer should have no role in his life whatsoever.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.