Stan Lee started lawsuit against former business manager and former attorney in 2018
A recent online story found here outlines the latest developments in the legal dispute that has involved the estate of Stan Lee.
Stan Lee died on November 12, 2018 at the age of 95. He is credited as being one of the co-creators of many classic superheroes including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and Black Widow.
According to the story above, Mr. Lee commenced a lawsuit in 2018 against his former business manager Jerardo Olivarez and his former attorney Uvi Litvak. Mr. Lee alleged that Mr. Olivarez and Mr. Litvak were unscrupulous businessmen seeking to take advantage of him following the death of his wife, Joan Lee. There were also accusations that Mr. Lee’s only child and heir J.C. verbally abused Mr. Lee. Apparently, there were also conflicts over money.
Additionally, Mr. Lee alleged that Mr. Olivarez entered his inner circle as a consultant to J.C. and Joan’s various businesses. He was eventually given the title of “senior adviser” and even handled caregiving duties for Mr. Lee.
Mr. Olivarez was alleged to have transferred money out of Mr. Lee’s accounts
While unclear what kind of power of attorney documents were signed, the story mentions that Mr. Olivarez ended up with power of attorney over Mr. Lee. Mr. Olivarez fired Mr. Lee’s banker of 26 years along with his lawyers and transferred approximately $4.6 million out of his bank account without authorization.
It was alleged that Mr. Olivarez appointed his own lawyer Mr. Litvak as Mr. Lee’s lawyer without disclosing the conflict. Furthermore, it was alleged, inter alia, that Mr. Olivarez tricked Mr. Lee into loaning $300,000 to a merchandising company, bought a $850,000 condo using Mr. Lee’s money, took out $1.4 million from his accounts through wire transfers, and modified Mr. Lee’s will.
The full allegations against Mr. Litvak are not clear, but Mr. Lee’s claim against him involved allegations of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. Other claims were made against another former business manager Keya Morgan, including that he isolated Mr. Lee from family and friends to embezzle assets valued at more than $5 million.
None of the above allegations have been proven in Court.
Lawsuit against Mr. Olivarez has been settled
According to the story, Mr. Lee’s estate has recently taken steps to dismiss the claims against Mr. Olivarez. The lawsuit against Mr. Olivarez was settled, but the terms have not been disclosed. The matter has not been settled with Mr. Litvak. It is unclear what the next steps are going to be in this litigation.
Elderly individuals need to be careful who they trust for advice and who they let into their inner circle. It is not uncommon even for a relative who has been appointed attorney under a power of attorney of property to abuse that trust. An attorney named under a power of attorney for property has a fiduciary relationship with the person who granted the power of attorney. The attorney must understand his or her duties and must act in the best interest of the grantor. As Canada’s population ages, cases involving financial elder abuse and power of attorney abuse will unfortunately become more common.
The fact that this lawsuit has partially settled is a positive development for all of the parties involved. Litigation can be very expensive and can be emotionally exhausting for everyone involved. This will be a very interesting story to follow.
More on this story here.