There will be no quick end to the court battles between Sumner Redstone and Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and a trial is likely to go forward this fall. A Massachusetts judge on Thursday rejected Redstone’s bid to end the case.
At issue is whether Redstone was mentally competent when he removed Dauman and Viacom board member George Abrams from the trust that will control his majority ownership of Viacom and CBS Corp. when he dies or becomes incapacitated.
Redstone owns National Amusements and through that he owns 80% of voting shares for both Viacom and CBS.
Dauman and Abrams filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts where the trust is based to fight their removal from the trust.
The judge’s decision to keep the case in Massachusetts could help Dauman’s case, or give him more leverage to negotiate a settlement, reports Reuters. The outcome of the Massachusetts court case, and who ends up with control over the trust, will have wide implications for Viacom and CBS shareholders and could result in changes at the top of both companies.