(CN) – A man from suburban Chicago claims his ungrateful son took advantage of the dad’s near-total paralysis to steal $163,000 in commissions from the family insurance business, then added insult to injury by taking all of his dad’s Cubs season tickets.
Gerald Adelman claims in Cook County Court that he founded a successful insurance brokerage catering to high-income people. The father says he employed his son Stuart for 18 years before the younger Adelman left the business under a cloud.
Gerald (Jerry) Adelman says that he repeatedly encouraged his son to develop his own business, and provided him with opportunities to do it. But he says his son showed little initiative, and the friction grew worse after Gerald Adelman divorced Stuart’s mother.
Gerald Adelman, of Northbrook, suffered a catastrophic accident while working out in a gym in 2001. He became a spastic quadriplegic, though through intensive physical therapy he has regained some use of his limbs.
But in 2007, Adelman says, he discovered that his son had taken advantage of his disability to divert the insurance commissions. Confronted with it, Adelman says, his son offered no explanation and refused to return the money. He says his son left the family business that year.
But that’s not all, the dad says.
Several years earlier, a former client had given the senior Adelman the right to buy Cubs season tickets from him, according to the complaint. The tickets in the twelfth row above the first base line are top-notch seats in Wrigley Field, the father says.
In 1993, Adelman says, he and his son made an agreement in which the son would pay for the tickets, the father would conduct the deal with his old client, and “the remaining tickets would be distributed by Jerry [Adelman] to family members and friends at Jerry’s discretion.”
But in 2007 his son began to deviate from the longstanding agreement, the father says. He claims his son took all of the tickets for the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Cubs’ seasons – tickets worth a total of $96,000.
Adelman claims that his son continues to deprive him of the opportunity to distribute the tickets this year, for tickets having a total value of $32,000.
Gerald Adelman seeks repayment of the $163,000 in diverted commissions, $128,000 to pay for the Cubs tickets, and $512,000 in punitive damages. He alleges breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.
He is represented by David Axelrod and Robert Cohen with David A. Axelrod & Associates of Chicago.