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Judge Dismisses Sumner Redstone Competency Suit


LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — A Los Angeles judge has abruptly dismissed a lawsuit over the mental competency trial of Viacom chairman emeritus Sumner Redstone.

According to the New York Times, Judge David J. Cowan of Los Angeles County Superior Court dismissed the case on Monday morning in proceedings that lasted less than half an hour.

The suit had been brought by plaintiff Manuela Herzer, a former romantic partner of Mr. Redstone, who claimed that he did not have the mental capacity to make decisions when he removed her from his health care directive in October. However, videotaped testimony from the 92-year-old billionaire appeared to sway the judge.

“This testimony does in fact completely alter the case,” Judge Cowan said in his ruling, obtained by the New York Times.

The judge noted that his decision was not a statement on Mr. Redstone's mental capacity, but based on Mr. Redstone's health needs.

“The court is finding only that the ‘proceeding is not reasonably necessary to protect the interests of the patient,’” he wrote. “Specifically, Herzer cannot be restored as his agent and Redstone is satisfied with the care he is receiving and to be with his family.”

Ms. Herzer initially filed the suit claiming that she was concerned about his well-being, but Redstone's lawyers countered that she was motivated by avarice, noting that on the same day that Mr. Sumner wrote her out of his health care plan, he changed his estate planning in which Ms. Herzer was to receive $50 million and his $20 million mansion.

Redstone, who has not been seen in public in almost a year, stepped down from his role as chairman at CBS and Viacom in February. – Staff Writers