Must Read Money Stories for Friday, June 3

by June 3, 2016

Must Read Money Stories

Estate Planning and Sumner Redstone

The messy lawsuits surrounding media magnate Sumner Redstone illustrate the complicated business of estate planning —even for those who can afford the best legal advice, reports The New York Times. Redstone is the majority owner and chairman of the board of the National Amusements theater chain, which owns CBS Corp. and Viacom. He suffers from moderate dementia. A recent lawsuit brought by Manuela Herzer, Redstone’s romantic partner, revealed the complicated fight between his daughter, Shari Redstone, and the man who Redstone seemed to have picked to take over National Amusements, Philippe Dauman. Many people involved in Redstone’s estate are attempting to influence decisions related to the state. But it’s unclear what Redstone himself wants. In the meantime, the fate of CBS and Viacom hinge on the outcome of who decides what.

Trump University and Alleged Fraud

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “bilked people out of millions of dollars” and “personally pocketed $5 million” from his Trump University “scam,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Thursday. The Guardian reports that Schneiderman, who is suing Trump University in New York, said the real estate school was a fraud from “beginning to end.” Trump is currently facing three class action lawsuits against Trump University over fraud allegations. He has denied all the charges and has vowed to fight them in court.

Hospital Lawsuits

A joint NPR and ProPublica investigation found that many nonprofit hospitals, which pay no income tax, collectively file thousands of lawsuits against low-income patients over unpaid bills. An earlier investigation highlighted Heartland Regional Medical Center, a small, nonprofit hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri. The hospital had sued thousands of poor patients over unpaid medical bills. After pressure from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the hospital changed its financial assistance policy and forgave the debts of thousands of patients. But further scrutiny by NPR and ProPublica found that Heartland is far from an outlier in the medical system.

Takata Air Bag Battle

General Motors Co. is pushing back against U.S. auto safety regulators who want the automaker to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators in millions of vehicles, Reuters reports. According to documents released Thursday, GM told regulators it may not be necessary to recall many of the Takata-equipped 2007-2011 full-size trucks and SUVs because its Takata inflators have a unique design that does not pose a safety risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) previously said that the company should replace all Takata air bag inflators made with ammonium nitrate  as a propellant. The NHTSA has said these inflators become unsafe over time, especially when exposed to humidity and temperature variations.