Attorneys Gene Libby and Tyler Smith won a defense verdict on behalf of a client in a tortious interference with inheritance jury trial. The plaintiff and defendant are brothers. Prior to their father’s death, the father transferred his home to the defendant, and changed his life insurance policies to name the defendant as the sole beneficiary. The plaintiff sued his brother, claiming that the transfer of the home and changes to the life insurance policies were the product of undue influence.
The defense focused on the lack of evidence supporting the plaintiff’s undue influence theory, paired with evidence that the father had made numerous statements critical of the plaintiff and was upset with the plaintiff’s opposition to his marriage. Attorneys Libby and Smith argued that the transfer of the home and changes to the life insurance policies were not the product of undue influence, but of the father’s dissatisfaction with the plaintiff, and his intent to reward the son who respected his marriage and maintained an active relationship with him during his final years.
The case ended in a jury verdict for the defense that was reached with less than one hour of deliberation.