The Massachusetts Probate Court Judge tasked with deciding whether Viacom controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone is competent said he would rule on whether to expedite the case by the end of June, according to reports.
The ruling will drag out for at least another few weeks the continued drama between Viacom executive chairman and CEO Philippe Dauman and Redstone. Tuesday’s hearing was the first around Dauman’s law suit attempting to block Redstone’s moves to remove him and Viacom board member George Abrams from the trust that will control Redstone’s Viacom stake in the event of his death or incapacitation. Dauman has claimed in the suit that Redstone is no longer competent to make business decisions and is being unduly influenced by his daughter, Viacom board member Shari Redstone.
According to reports, Massachusetts Probate Court Judge George Phelan said he would wait until the end of the month to rule on whether to expedite Dauman’s claims. At the two-and-a-half hour hearing Tuesday, Phelan said he had “a lot to digest,” according to reports.
Dauman claims that Redstone is suffering from dementia, memory loss and can no longer participate in meaningful conversation, including those concerning his business holdings. According to reports, attorneys for Redstone claimed at the hearing that the media mogul has been getting better and has been able to leave his home to visit family and friends.
Judge Phelan said he would hold a hearing on whether to dismiss the by the end of the month as well.
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