Shareholder files lawsuit against Viacom & CBS over Sumner Redstone’s pay

MUMBAI: Investors targeted Viacom Inc and filed a lawsuit against Viacom and CBS’s boards on 19 January, alleging the companies improperly paid millions to executive chairman Sumner Redstone while he was physically and mentally incapacitated.


Redstone’s health issues were heightened after his ex-girlfriend Manuela Herzer filed a lawsuit that raised doubts about the billionaire’s competence. Redstone’s lawyers have maintained that he is in full control of making decisions.


The new shareholder lawsuit, filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, says payments to Redstone “for services not rendered” amounted to bad faith by the two boards and also says the Viacom board misrepresented Redstone's deteriorated physical and mental condition in a January 2015 proxy statement.


The Redstone controversy began last fall when his ex-girlfriend was thrown off his advance healthcare directive and escorted out of his sprawling hilltop estate. She sued, contending the mogul was in no position to make such decisions.


Redstone named Viacom chief executive Philippe Dauman as his new healthcare agent. Dauman filed a motion on 15 January in a New York court to stop his deposition in connection with Herzer's case. 


As per media reports, an attorney for Herzer had no immediate comment on Dauman's filing. Herzer's attorney has previously said she sued solely over concern for Redstone's health.

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