Sumner Redstone, founder of Viacom, once again had made headlines recently in his decision to alter the terms of his will, raising questions about his decision making capacity. Mr. Redstone suddenly removed two longtime trusted businessmen and friends, the chief executive and director of Viacom, from the trust that controls the media business when Mr. Redstone dies. After the ouster, both filed suit to invalidate the decision, claiming Mr. Redstone had diminished mental capacity and was being manipulated by his daughter, whom he has had rocky relationship with over the years. This is not the first time Mr. Redstone’s capacity has been challenged however. Prior to the recent ouster, he also has taken his former companions out of his trust, both were estimated to receive $75 million each.
After a series of strokes, Mr. Redstone now has a severe speech impediment that has left him needing an interpreter to speak on his behalf in a recent deposition. However, after evaluation by medical professionals, he has once again been cleared as mental capable of making his own decisions. In his most recent medical evaluation, he recalled why he made the decision to oust the two businessmen, pointing to falling stock prices and their inability to run the company correctly.
What Does Diminished Capacity Mean?