Massachusetts Judge Denies Motion for ‘Immediate’ Sumner Redstone Mental Exam

But George Phelan takes case, approves request for medical records

Last Updated: July 28, 2016 @ 5:30 PM

A Massachusetts judge has denied a request for Sumner Redstone to undergo a new immediate mental examination.

Judge George Phelan did, however, allow the motion for Redstone’s recent medical records to be produced.

And he is taking the case — or, at least, the parts that are in his jurisdiction. The issue of Philippe Dauman and George Abrams being removed from the Viacom board of directors is not of his business geographically, the Probate and Family Court judge decreed.

As for the medical records, those need to be produced to the opposing counsel by Aug. 15. The medical records should date back to Jan. 1, 2015, and stretch through today.

“We are grateful that Judge Phelan’s thoughtful opinion removes yet another of defendants’ efforts to block an investigation into the merits and, in particular, an independent determination of Mr. Redstone’s capacity and the question of undue influence,” a spokesperson for Dauman and Abrams told TheWrap. “Judge Phelan acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations and the need for a speedy trial in Massachusetts. We also appreciate that he is allowing prompt access to medical records and immediate discovery. We welcome the opportunity to prove the facts at trial.”

Here’s the Redstone camp’s full response, per spokesperson Mike Lawrence:

This case is a disingenuous, self-interested effort by Philippe Dauman and George Abrams to hold on to their power as trustees and National Amusements directors, in the hope that this would enable them to preserve their richly compensated positions at Viacom despite their dismal performance. They should respect both Sumner Redstone’s decision to remove them and the written ratification of his decision by the trustees and National Amusements directors.

Sumner made the decision to remove Dauman and Abrams as Trustees and National Amusements directors because he does not trust them and to replace Salerno and four other Viacom directors because he is dissatisfied with Viacom’s performance. The new directors make the Viacom board more independent and better able to exercise effective oversight over Viacom management.

When deciding whether to dismiss this complaint, the court was required by law to assume all of Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams’ allegations as true, including those which we will prove false as this case progresses. We look forward to exposing this specious and malicious attack on the Redstones, and we believe that Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams will be no more successful at thwarting Sumner’s wishes in Massachusetts than Manuela Herzer was in California.

With respect to the Court’s denial of Mr. Dauman’s and Mr. Abrams’ request for an immediate mental examination, we thank the court for protecting Sumner Redstone’s privacy and dignity. Mr. Redstone’s capacity has repeatedly been confirmed by one of California’s leading geriatric psychiatrists, including on the very day that he removed Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams from his Trust and from the board of National Amusements. Moreover, because a majority of trustees ratified the removal of Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams, their dismissals will stand regardless of what Mr. Dauman and Mr. Abrams’s paid experts might say about Sumner’s capacity or alleged undue influence.  This was the right decision.

And here are screen grabs of the court’s decision:



Sumner Redstone has attempted to remove Dauman, Abrams and three others from the Viacom board. Dauman and Abrams filed suit to block that and their removals from the board of National Amusements — which owns Viacom and CBS — and the Sumner M. Redstone Trust.

Dauman and Abrams have repeatedly accused Sumner’s daughter Shari Redstone of pulling the puppet strings on her ailing 93-year-old father. The Redstone camp maintains that each of these decisions were made by a mentally capable Sumner.

Not only are top-tier jobs on the line in this case but a potential sale of Paramount Pictures could also hang in the balance.


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