Home > Uncategorized > The $100 Million Lawsuit: Estate Sues Hospital That Housed Heiress For Decades

The $100 Million Lawsuit: Estate Sues Hospital That Housed Heiress For Decades


Huguette Clark left a $300 million estate when she passed away in 2011 at the age of 104.


She had no close relatives when she passed away.


Can you sense the imminent battle over that money, just based on those facts alone?



Now her estate has filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million from Beth Israel Medical Center and Dr. Henry Singman. See ABA Journal Article: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/100m_suit_says_hospital_and_doctor_didnt_discharge_heiress_for_decades/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_email


The Gist of the Lawsuit:

The Lawsuit alleges that the Hospital and Dr. Singman allowed the Heiress to live at the hospital for 20 years until she died there, even though there was no medical need for hospitalization most of that time, in order to obtain millions of dollars in rent payments, fees and gifts.


The People Who Benefited:

The lawsuit further alleges that Clark gave:

  • over $30 million to the nurse who provided most of her care,
  • $4 million to the hospital and
  • $800,000 to Singman and his family, among some $40 million in gifts.

The public administrator’s office is overseeing the estate because the original administrators were removed for allegedly wasting assets, the New York Daily News reports.


A lot of complications arise when someone dies and leaves $300 Million.


The Legal Claims:

The suit charges that the hospital and its staff violated state law and facility policies that say prohibited caregivers from accepting gifts and required the discharge of a patient who had no medical need for hospitalization. It also argues that Singman should have arranged for a psychiatric evaluation and possible treatment of any condition that made Clark reluctant to leave.

To avoid discharging the lucrative patient, Beth Israel “deliberately violated state law and internal protocols, falsified records, and hid Huguette’s existence from the hospital’s legal department and outside regulators,” the suit says, contending that employees were told to hide Clark’s 20,000-page file from regulators when they reviewed the facility to keep her presence there a secret.”

For more own this story also see: http://www.newcanaannewsonline.com/news/us/article/Copper-heiress-estate-sues-NYC-hospital-doctor-4998973.php



My Three Take Away Points:


1. Talk with a Lawyer – You can’t take your stuff with you when you die!

Trust me, People will fight over much less than $300 Million. You need to have your wishes properly memorialized. Not to harp on the “death issue” – but it happens to all of us. As I’ve heard it said “Nobody is getting out of this thing alive!”



2. Clearly Communicate Your Estate Plan Wishes to Your Loved Ones

Since the laws of nature tell us that “you can’t take the $300 million with you when you’re dead” it is important to get your estate plan in order and make sure that it is clearly communicated to those who care about you.




3. Don’t Forget to Update Your Estate Plan as Time Goes On

According to the reports, Ms. Huguette had an estate plan, or a few of them. She died at the age of 104. Her last 20 years, if you take the allegations in the lawsuit as true, were spent giving millions in gifts to those who took care of her at her end. Although there is nothing wrong with her giving money to whomever she pleased, since it was her money (although it is another question altogether whether or not ethic rules would allow the professional to keep such gifts…) best practice would have been to clearly communicate her intended wishes to her loved ones.



Questions? Comments?

Call or email me.


(616) 454-3883.



Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: