Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Heirs of the Derzon Coin Shop Seeks Retribution

Estate DisputeAs I have previously discussed, the owners of the Derzon Coin Co. and sons of late-owner Rebecca Derzon, Alan and Mark Derzon, re-open the store after a long estate battle over their mother's estate ended when a judge voided a will that would have given the store to Rebecca's half sister and a long-time employee. Now, Alan and Mark are demanding that Lori Laatasch (half sister), Diane Mehalko (long-time employee), and the law firm that represented the two women pay them for the time that they improperly had control over their company. More specifically, "[t]he motion demands that Laatsch, of Hartland, return $1.4 million and that Diane Mehalko...repay $646,979." The money that the two brothers are asking for includes the salaries of the two women and any other money that was paid to them in the form of dividends or to cover the costs of the luxury cars that the two women used for business. The motion that was filed also seeks money from other parties that received money from the estate, and seeks to recuperate money that was used by Laatasch and Mehalko to retain control over the estate. 

The brothers argued within the motion that even if Laatasch and Mehalko cannot pay them, the law firm that represented the two women should reimburse the estate for the work that they did on the case. The brothers argued that because the judge found that Laatasch acted in bad faith, the firm should also be found to have acted in bad faith. The brothers are asking that the money used to pay the firm from the estate, a sum of $60,000, be returned to them. In total, the brothers are asking for about $2.5 million.

See Cary Spivack, Coin Shop Heirs Seek Repayment, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 20, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) and Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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I heard this news and this is really a serious matter over money. How long did the battle last before they settle the issue? I wasn't able to follow after I went out of the country.

Posted by: Dana Caffrey | Feb 3, 2013 7:28:14 AM

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