Sumner Redstone Judge Finds ‘No Urgency’ in Settling Mogul’s Healthcare Legal Battle

Court denies petition for expedited process from Viacom chairman’s ex-girlfriend

Last Updated: November 30, 2015 @ 5:36 PM

UPDATE 5:34 p.m. PT: Redstone’s legal team, Gabrielle Vidal of Loeb & Loeb, has also released a statement expressing they too are pleased with the judge’s decision.

“We are pleased the Court today expressly rejected Ms. Herzer’s claims of urgency and granted our request to stay discovery pending next year’s hearing on our motion to dismiss.

4:33 p.m. PT: Herzer’s legal team have released a statement and expressed they are “pleased” with the judge’s decision. Read it in full below:

We’ve very pleased with the decision today by Los Angeles County Probate Judge Clifford Klein to deny the request to dismiss our petition and to set a further hearing on the matter in January. Despite the vitriol that has been unleashed on Manuela Herzer, our case is going forward and she remains determined to fulfill her promise to serve as health care agent for Sumner Redstone, her close friend of 16 years. The fact is that Mr. Redstone is tragically incapacitated – and that’s why he hasn’t submitted a declaration to court and the attorneys claiming to represent him are fighting so hard to keep us away from him. When the court finally allows us take his videotaped deposition, we believe his lack of capacity will be painfully evident to the judge and to the world.


There is no urgency on making a decision on Sumner Redstone’s healthcare, a Los Angeles judge ruled Monday.

On November 24, Redstone’s former girlfriend Manuela Herzer filed paperwork seeking to take control over his medical decisions, after the exec had her removed as his “healthcare agent” on Oct. 12.

In the suit filed by Herzer, she argued that 92-year-old Redstone lacked the mental capability to make his own decisions — including whether to oust her from her post — saying he was “vacant, expressionless and out of touch.” The judge disagreed and ruled that there was no need to expedite the process based on Redstone’s current condition.

“I find no urgency,” said Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein. Redstone replaced Herzer with Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman as his healthcare agent on Oct. 16.

While Herzer sought to expedite the process, including having Redstone’s health checked out by medical examiners, the judge ruled to delay discovery until a future hearing on Redstone’s motion to dismiss Herzer’s petition.

In court documents, Dauman declared Redstone “engaged and attentive” when the two men spent time together earlier this month.

In May, Redstone denied reports that he was stepping down from his post amid ongoing rumors of his deteriorating health, and also clarified succession plans following his death.

“Decisions about who will succeed me as chairman of CBS and Viacom will be made by the Boards of the respective companies, and not by any individual,” he said. “Despite press reports to the contrary, such decisions have not yet been made.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.