Walt Disney’s Grandson Sues Judge in Battle Over $200 Million Inheritance

A California judge’s order appointing a guardian over Bradford Lund is at the center of the case

Walt Disney
Getty (pictured: Walt Disney)

Walt Disney’s grandson, Bradford Lund, filed a civil rights lawsuit Thursday against a judge who Lund says violated his constitutional rights as part of a long-running legal battle over a $200 million inheritance.

According to the lawsuit, Lund’s estranged family members “alleged that he was incapacitated and needed a guardianship and conservatorship” as their way of keeping him from receiving his half of the $400 million left to him and his sister. After a seven-year legal battle in Arizona led to a 10-day day trial, Lund says he was victorious “in all respects and was found to have capacity, resulting in a dismissal of that case.”

Lund’s estranged family appealed but an appellate court affirmed the decision. Walt Disney’s grandson and his estranged family appeared to be close to a settlement last year but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan did not approve the settlement agreement and instead, on Sept. 27, 2019, appointed a guardian over Lund.

This order was not appealable under California law.

“The decision by Judge Cowan to appoint a (guardian) without a hearing,” the new lawsuit states, “and utterly ignoring constitutional requirements of due process of law is all too reminiscent of a perspective where facts do not matter but alternative facts do, where the constitution does not matter and where the rule of law is set aside and replaced by the rule of subjective, fact-free decision-making.”

Lund believes his incompetence needs to be proven, not the other way around, and argues, “Judge Cowan reversed the burden of proof and required Mr. Lund to prove that he was not incompetent.”

The federal lawsuit is seeking a declaratory judgment saying Judge Cowan violated Lund’s constitutional rights.

A clerk for Judge Cowan said “no comment” when contacted by TheWrap.