The National Council on Aging estimates that about one in 10 Americans age 60 and older have experienced elder abuse and as few as one in 14 victims report the abuse. Each year as many as five million elders are abused. Elder abuse can take many different forms,People from all social and economic backgrounds are affected by elder abuse, even media mogul Sumner Redstone.
The 93-year-old billionaire filed a civil suit in October against two former girlfriends, alleging they engaged in a years-long scheme to drain his wealth by running up credit card bills, selling stock and changing his estate plan, according to CNBC.com. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks $150 million that Redstone said he gave the two women.
Redstone's lawyer alleges the two women “manipulated and emotionally abused Redstone to get what they wanted — jewelry, designer clothing, real estate in Beverly Hills, New York, and Paris, and money, lots of it.” The billionaire reportedly cut off the women a year ago.
Although likely underreported, elder financial abuse costs older Americans $2.9 billion per year, according to the National Council on Aging. Financial abuse or exploitation is the illegal, unauthorized or improper use of an older individual's resources by a caregiver or other person in a trusting relationship, for the benefit of someone other than the older individual, according to the Center's For Disease Control and Prevention.
Redstone is suing for elder abuse, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress — and at least $150 million in damages, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit alleges the two women convinced Redstone to sell media assets that generated about $100 million after taxes and give each woman $45 million. However, the sale triggered a tax obligation of more than $900. Because the two women “cleaned out” his bank accounts, according to the lawsuit, Redstone had to borrow $100 million to cover the taxes. It is this money plus damages he is hoping to recoup with the lawsuit.
Until last year, one of the women had been Redstone's “healthcare agent,” responsible for making medical decisions on his behalf. After Redstone replaced her, she challenged the decision in court, saying the businessman was not competent to make his own decisions, but a judge sided with Redstone. Now the woman is appealing the judge's ruling in an attempt to once again gain control of Redstone's medical care.
Sumner's elder abuse lawsuit also accuses the women of continually berating the billionaire and cutting him off from his family, falsely telling him his daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren hated him, then instructing security to prevent his family from visiting.
If you have been the victim of elder abuse, you have the right to recoup your losses. Call the offices of trial attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian at 800-529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.