Actress Shannen Doherty may expand her lawsuit against her former business management firm, which she originally sued for alleged failure to pay her medical insurance premium, a judge ruled Tuesday.
The ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason allows Doherty’s lawyers to add a new cause of action alleging that the firm of Tanner, Mainstain, Glynn & Johnson negligently retained former partner Steven D. Blatt to work on the actreess’s account.
An attorney representing the management firm could not be reached immediately for comment on Tuesday’s ruling.
Doherty contends that Blatt had failed to pay her medical insurance.
The Tanner firm allowed Blatt to continue to work on behalf of Doherty long after its members knew of his mishandling of her account, resulting in further damage to her finances, lawyers for the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star state in court papers.
Doherty, 44, filed her original suit Aug. 19, alleging negligence, breach of contract and claiming the company put its own interests ahead of those of the actress. Blatt is a former partner with Tanner, Mainstain, Glynn & Johnson, the suit states.
According to the lawsuit, Doherty lost her Screen Actors Guild medical insurance in February 2014 after the company failed to pay her premium, causing the policy to be canceled. Because she had no insurance, she did not regularly visit a physician, the suit states.
After the coverage was reinstated, Doherty made a doctor’s appointment and was told in March that she has breast cancer, according to her court papers. Doherty also was informed that had she been insured and able to visit her doctor, the spread of her cancer could potentially have been avoided, according to the complaint.
Doherty has not been able to work since the diagnosis and the news of her illness has caused her “severe emotional distress,” the suit states.
The revised lawsuit states that accounting records provided by the Tanner firm show that in addition to the alleged overcharges in management fees, there have been “numerous unexplained transfers” to unidentified individuals and accounts from Doherty’s holdings.
Her taxes have not been managed properly and $50,000 in insurance proceeds meant to compensate her for poor work done on a property she owned that was damaged in a storm was not turned over to her, her attorneys’ court papers allege.
“Further, defendants, including Blatt, improperly disclosed private details of (Doherty’s ) financial affairs to third parties without (her) authorization,” Doherty’s attorneys state in their court papers.
The amended complaint does not add any new causes of action against Blatt, but his lawyers stated in their court papers that Doherty had “improper motives” in asking to file an amended complaint.
“Specifically, plaintiff’s counsel sent defendant’s counsel a letter in which plaintiff made a demand to settle the case for a substantial amount of money,” Blatt’s attorneys wrote. “In the absence of such accession, plaintiff’s counsel threatened to expand the litigation in this case.”
A hearing is scheduled Dec. 8 on a motion by Blatt’s lawyers to dismiss all causes of action against him in Doherty’s complaint.
— Wire reports
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