Dauman Seeks Redstone Mental Exam By Aug. 17
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has asked a judge in Massachusetts to order that the company’s controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone, submit to a mental examination by August 17.
Dauman and another Viacom director, George Abrams, filed suit to invalidate an effort to remove them as directors of the Redstone family holding company, National Amusements, and as trustees of the trust that will control National Amusements after Redstone dies or is declared incompetent.
The removal was signed by Sumner Redstone, but Dauman contends the 93-year-old mogul is incapable of making business decisions and is under the undue influence of daughter Shari Redstone.
Related: Dauman Asserts Right to Resign at Viacom
At stake is control of the $40 billion of media assets Redstone controls, including Viacom and CBS. Another suit challenging the removal of Dauman and four others as directors of Viacom is pending in Delaware, where the judge is waiting to see whether or not Redstone is examined and deemed with competent or incompetent in Massachusetts.
In a proposed order filed with the court Wednesday, Dauman seeks six years’ worth of Redstone’s medical record. He wants his medcial experts, Dr. Spencer Eth and Dr. Bruce Price to be allowed to observe how Redstone aides Jeremy Jagiello and Anne Lefton interpret Redstone’s speech. Redstone has difficulty communicating.
Related: Viacom Blasts Redstone Firm for Opposing Paramount Sale
A few days later, Dauman wants his experts to be able to choose to examine Redstone without Jagiello or Lefton present. The examination they seek would take place over three days, for up to 75 minutes per day.
Dauman’s lawyers content that Redstone’s mental condition is the central issue in the case and that there is an “urgent need” to expedite an examination because he is in fragile health and could die before an exam takes place.
Related: Herzer Loses Bid for New Redstone Trial
They are also concerned that the more time elapses, the more Redstone’s lawyers could argue that a current examination would not be relevant to Redstone’s mental health when the order to remove Dauman was signed on May 20.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.