LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Bradford Lund, grandson of the late Walt Disney, today announced the filing of his objection to a settlement of the litigation over his inheritance of the estate of his mother Sharon Lund, daughter of Walt Disney, that is being proposed by the Trustees of his inheritance. Lund, pointing to findings of competence by two separate courts, tells the Court that the Trustees have no right to force him into a settlement agreement that he does not want to sign, according to Lanny Davis, legal advisor to Mr. Lund, and according to court papers filed in the Los Angeles probate court.
In April 2019, Brad Lund, the Lund parties, and the Trustees charged with protecting him and his inheritance, finally reached a global settlement in a 10 year-long litigation involving the estate that is in trust for his benefit. Under the terms of the settlement, the Trustees would be paid millions in termination fees, and Lund would be given the ability to choose his own replacement trustees, with no involvement whatsoever from the current trustees. That was the essential bargain struck.
The Court did not accept the settlement and appointed a limited Guardian ad Litem ("GAL") to review the settlement and ensure that it was in Lund's best interest. Yet before the GAL could even submit her report, the Trustees submitted a revised settlement allegedly negotiated among themselves secretly behind closed doors, with all changes favoring them and self-enriching them and prejudicing their fiduciary, Brad Lund. Lund now asks for the Court to reject this proposed "revised," self-negotiated "agreement":
"It is not an agreement at all: It lacks consideration to Mr. Lund, it lacks Mr. Lund's consent and authorization, and it lacks any semblance of recognized required contract principles whatsoever. It must be rejected as nothing more than a sham and a farce." – Lund Reply to Trustees' Response to Lund Objections to Revised Settlement Agreement, page 4.
Lund asserts that the Trustees' proposed settlement strips the only provision that benefitted Lund – his ability to choose his own replacement trustees – while keeping intact the provision that benefitted the Trustees – the $14.5 million payout.
"It is impossible to imagine how the Trustees could propose this revised settlement to Brad Lund, someone these Trustees owe a fiduciary duty to, in good faith," said Lanny J. Davis, co-counsel to Brad Lund in his federal civil rights litigation. "These Trustees owe loyalty, honesty, and transparency to their fiduciary, and yet they are proposing a settlement agreement where they get paid millions AND they get to pick the replacement trustees. How does it benefit Mr. Lund to pay millions of dollars for nothing in return?"
Lund's objection also takes issue with the alleged hypocrisy of the Trustees in their opposition to Sherry Lund, Brad Lund's step-mother, being appointed as a replacement trustee.
"I call on the Trustees to answer this simple question, which is it," said Davis. "Are you acting contrary to your fiduciary duty now by opposing Sherry Lund's possible appointment as trustee despite signing off on that possibility last year? Or were you acting in bad faith then by signing an agreement you then quickly attempted to invalidate?"
"This pattern of breach of fiduciary duties by the Trustees, we allege, has been consistent over the years – despite court decisions in Arizona and California contradicting their efforts to declare Mr. Lund lacking capacity or competence," Davis said. "We hope the time is coming soon that the current probate court, having received a favorable report from the Guardian ad Litem the court appointed, will challenge the Trustees' obvious alleged breaches of their fiduciary duties and endorse a just conclusion to this case."
"If not, then we look forward to doing so at a trial, as Mr. Lund has long sought," Davis concluded.
Contact: Alex Lange
SOURCE Lanny Davis