Court upholds dismissal of Redstone lawsuit


BOSTON -- A judge on Friday upheld his dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS, by a nephew who claimed that he was cheated out of money years ago.

Michael David Redstone sued in November in Suffolk Superior Court alleging that his uncle and his father, Edward Redstone, enriched themselves at his expense when they bought out his stake in the family's National Amusements Inc. in 1972 and 1984. He was joined in the lawsuit by trustees of his late sister Ruth Ann and the grandchildren of Sumner and Edward Redstone.

Sumner Redstone denied the allegations, and Judge Allan van Gestel ruled the lawsuit was filed too late for a three-year statute of limitations. On Friday he rejected the plaintiff's claims that they did not know the extent to which they were shortchanged until 2004.

Sumner Redstone, 84, bought out his son Brett's interest in National Amusements to settle a separate lawsuit in which the son had sought to dissolve the company to gain control of his share.

Last week, Sumner Redstone said in a letter faxed to Forbes magazine that he also would consider buying the NAI shares held by his daughter, Shari, who has been seen as his successor. She responded that she wasn't looking for a buyout but would consider it. His letter followed reports in Fortune magazine and The Wall Street Journal that his daughter had differences with him over corporate governance issues.

National Amusements is privately held company that owns a chain of movie theaters, as well as voting stock in CBS and Viacom, which controls a majority of the shareholder vote in both companies.