Executors of the $300 million estate of the late copper heiress Huguette Clark slapped Beth Israel Hospital and the woman’s primary doctor with a $105 million lawsuit Thursday for putting profit ahead of their medical duty by allegedly extracting millions in rent and gifts from their big bucks patient.
The hospital walked away with $1 million in a settlement that ended a two-year will battle brought by Clark’s relatives in September.
But now the 19 distant relatives who received the $34.5 million in the deal, a foundation that got $85 million and the Corcoran Gallery of Art that won a $10 million bequest are set for a larger windfall if Beth Israel loses the second legal battle.
They are being represented by the family’s attorney in the will case, John Morken, of the firm Farrell Fritz.
Morken declined to comment.
The new Manhattan Surrogate’s Court suit seeks $45 million from Beth Israel for breach of fiduciary duty — essentially keeping a perfectly healthy Clark secluded in a $1,200 a day private room while milking her for donations, the suit states.
Executors are also going after a $3 million Manet painting the heiress allegedly gifted the hospital under pressure, plus $50 million in punitive damages.
From her doctor, Henry Singman, who got $100,000 in the settlement, the estate wants to claw back $1.7 million plus another $5 million in punitive damages.
The suit says that Singman, who was Clark’s only patient “had persuasive powers” over the heiress and received cash gifts from her valuing over $800,000.
Asked about the new suit, Singman’s attorney, Harold Lee Schwab, thundered, “When will there be an end in the Clark matter?”
Litigation started before Clark died in 2011.
“Dr. Singman was instrumental in Mrs. Clark’s survival until the age of 104. He was the principal treating physician and cared dearly for Mrs. Clark, his patient, and he did nothing wrong in anyway,” Schwab said.
He called the continued legal battle “a burden of unbelievable magnitude placed upon a person who did his very best to give care to a patient.”
Schwab suggested the family was greedy for going after even more money, when they already received a sizable settlement.
“The heirs who did not know her at all and really only go involved by virtue of litigation did very well in the probate case,” Schwab said.
The never married and childless Huguette was the eccentric, doll-obsessed daughter of railroad baron, cooper king and former US Sen. William Clark, whose fortune rivaled that of the Carnegies and Rockefellers.
An attorney for the hospital declined to comment.
The parties are due back in court in January.
|Due By (Pacific Time)
||04/07/2014 12:00 am