Buick Heiress Looses Court Fight

An appellate court has upheld a lawsuit verdict that cleared two bankers of responsibility for the death of a frail millionaire.

Emily Bentley accused Detroit-based Comerica Bank and two of its officers of her husband's death.

Court Bentley was the grandson of an early General Motors Corporation investor.

A Bay County Circuit Court jury rejected the claim last year. Circuit Judge Judy Pittman
then denied her request for a retrial after a Bay County sheriff's investigator testified they were forgeries.

The First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee affirmed Pittman's decision this week.

Emily Bentley had claimed the bankers came to the couple's home and forced her 65-year-old husband to walk in near 100-degree heat to prove he was sick to justify medical expenses he sought from trust accounts the bank was managing.

Court Bentley died of pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease a few days after the bankers' visit.

The two’s trust totaled $7 million and paid Bentley about $500,000 a year plus living and medical expenses.

Jurors rejected his wife's claim that the bank wanted him dead because medical expenses were eating into the bank's profit.


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