In recent years, CBS Corp. has been dealing with a family drama that’s not on its primetime line-up of shows. It involves 95-year-old Sumner Redstone, who once oversaw the network, along with the media company Viacom Inc. Both were under the banner of the company National Amusements.
As the elder Redstone’s physical and cognitive health declined in recent years, his daughter Shari became a more visible force in the company. She famously clashed with CBS’s former chief executive officer Les Moonves before he left the company last year amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations. Moonves could still receive a payout of $120 million, although it appears that he’s going to have to fight for that.
Now CBS Corp. has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by investors regarding compensation they paid to Sumner Redstone even after he reportedly stopped attending board meetings five years ago or taking part in the running of the company due to his incapacitation. Plaintiffs in the suit accused the network’s board of paying Redstone for “services it allegedly knew that he could not render.”
CBS has now agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle the suit. The money won’t be paid directly to investors. Instead, it will be paid back to the network. A spokesperson for the network, which previously defended its continued compensation to Redstone, offered no explanation of why the board opted to settle the suit.
Investors have rights and are entitled to a say in how their money is spent. If they believe it’s been misspent, they are wise to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney to determine what legal options they have.