Donald Sterling claims he has alzheimer’s

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USA Today Sports is reporting that embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been diagnosed with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.  The source who provided the information states that Sterling voluntarily submitted to extensive neurological testing.

Terms of the Sterling Family Trust, which retains ownership of the Clippers, allowed Donald’s wife Shelly Sterling to become the sole trustee of the team because the Alzheimer’s symptoms rendered Donald mentally unfit to continue making any decisions on behalf of the trust.  Donald and Shelly Sterling were joint owners in the trust and each held a 50 percent stake in the team’s ownership. The specific terms of the trust did not require any official court action for Sterling to be deemed unfit.

The move to deem Donald Sterling mentally unfit made way for Shelly Sterling to go ahead and sell the Clippers team for a record $2 billion without Donald’s approval or input.  Donald Sterling’s attorney Max Blecher released a statement disputing the finding stating, “No court has made an adjudication of Donald Sterling’s mental capacity.”

It appears as though Donald Sterling has the grounds to challenge the Trusts determination of him being mentally incapacitated.  Him challenging the ruling would potentially allow him to block the sale of the team, according to University of Michigan adjunct law professor Linda Wasserman.  Wasserman states that the challenge is made possible due to the language of the trust which allows for broad interpretation of what mental incapacitation actually is.

Wasserman went on to state that a person, “can be in the early stages of dementia and still be competent under a trust agreement, so it’s a question of degree as well…He could have his own separate physicians examine him and determine that he is not incompetent and then it would end up in court.”

It appears as if in many ways, the fight over who actually owns the Clippers and can approve the sale of the team is just beginning to unfold.

 

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