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Viacom: Delaware Judge Says He Won’t Proceed Until Sumner Redstone Competency Is Decided

”There are questions of human dignity to a very elderly person, that’s treacherous ground to dive into too quickly,“ Andre Bouchard tells the court

The judge presiding over a case that could decide Viacom’s future wants more information about Sumner Redstone’s mental health before making a ruling.

Andre Bouchard, the Delaware judge assigned to hear Fred Salerno’s lawsuit over his removal from the media giant’s board, told attorneys on Wednesday that he wants to hold off making any big decisions in the case until the issue of Redstone’s capacity is clarified.

Redstone, the driving force behind the company whose brands include MTV and Comedy Central, is 93 and in frail health. His mental competency has been at issue in separate court cases in Massachusetts and California.

“There are questions of human dignity to a very elderly person,” Bouchard said in court. “That’s treacherous ground to dive into too quickly.”

Bouchard told attorneys for Salerno and Redstone that he wanted to be notified immediately of any developments in the other cases involving Redstone and Viacom.

“There will be no further proceedings scheduled, but I want to be kept abreast of developments in the other proceedings” in other courts, Bouchard said.

Earlier this week, Redstone’s attorneys filed a motion for dismissal in the Massachusetts case, where Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and director George Abrams are suing Redstone after being booted from a trust that could control Viacom.