As readers of this blog know all too well, I have written many times on Huguette Clark – probably 20 or more blog posts (just do a search on my blog if you are interested).
What we thought was the last piece of the story, the $30 million settlement (i.e. gift to go away) to distant relatives, turned out to be a launching pad for a relatively massive law suit ($100 million) against my old place of employment – Beth Israel Medical Center.
Here is an article from the NY Daily News:
I am sure there are many more articles out there.
I have to give credit to the legal strategists on behalf the descendants of turn of the century, U.S. Senator William Andrews Clark. They settled for 10% of their long, lost, half, great, great, great, aunt’s estate – I thought that was a sign that they really didn’t have much of a case (which I believe is true). But, now I see that their crazy lawsuit opened up a potential huge can of worms for Beth Israel. What were they doing letting this woman live in their hospital for 20 years? She paid “rent” but can they really do this ethically? Toss in the fundraising efforts aimed at Ms. Clark. So many questions are raised.
And, the timing of this lawsuit against Beth Israel couldn’t have come at a better time: Mount Sinai just acquired Beth Israel to become one of the largest health systems in the country. My guess is that there will be a quick settlement on this one.
This whole case was brilliantly played out by the Clark family. Create a media story while their long lost, reclusive, great, great, great, half aunt is still alive. Initiate a lawsuit as a discovery fishing expedition for a next round of lawsuits. Then, go for the jugular. Sadly, these long lost relatives had absolutely nothing to do with Ms. Clark and clearly were only aiming for whatever cash they could squeeze out. It now looks like their gambit will be paying off very nicely. Too bad it’s mostly at the expense of nonprofit, charitable interests of the late Ms. Clark.