Judge Rejects Sumner Redstone Bid to End Viacom CEO Lawsuit

Media & AdvertisingReuters

A Massachusetts judge on Thursday rejected Sumner Redstone's bid to quickly end a case that will likely determine the future of the media mogul's $40 billion holdings, marking a victory for Viacom Inc Chief Executive Philippe Dauman.

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The issue is whether the 93-year-old Redstone knew what he was doing when he removed Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the seven-person trust that will control his majority ownership of Viacom and CBS Corp when he dies or is incapacitated.

Judge George Phelan of Norfolk County Probate and Family Court in Canton, Massachusetts rejected Redstone's motion to dismiss, and ruled that the case should proceed in Massachusetts.

While Phelan allowed Dauman to examine medical records relating to Redstone, the judge rejected Dauman's request for an immediate mental examination of the 93-year-old Redstone.

A spokeswoman for National Amusements declined to comment. Calls to Viacom and spokespeople for Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari were not immediately returned.

(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel and Dan Levine; Editing by Alan Crosby)