Sumner Redstone remains in charge of his affairs after a judge decided no immediate action was needed in a case that questions his competency to make health care and financial decisions.
California Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein on Monday set a hearing for Jan. 27 at which he will consider a request by Redstone’s attorney to dismiss a suit brought by a former confident and caretaker that alleges that the 92-year-old chairman of Viacom and CBS is no longer able to take care of himself. The judge decided not to dismiss the case immediately, as Redstone’s lawyers requested.
The judge also decided to stay any discovery in the case until the hearing is held. He did not grant a request by Manuela Herzer to be put back as the person responsible for Redstone’s medical decisions when he is no longer able to make them, or order tests on Redstone.
"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,” said Gabrielle Vidal of Loeb & Loeb, a lawyer for Redstone.
Herzer's attorney also saw good signs in the ruling.
"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," said Pierce O'Donnell, on of Herzer's lawyers. "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. "