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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
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Mom Says No. 1 Son Is No 10

EUREKA, Calif. (CN) - A 70-year-old mother says her eldest son cheated her out of $680,000 equity in two houses and cashed out her $265,800 retirement account, costing her all that money, and the houses. Frances Bagley sued her son, Eddie L. Shields, in Humboldt County Court.

She seeks "general damages for the loss of quality of life," and punitive damages for "severe humiliation, emotional distress and mental suffering."

She also accuses him of financial elder abuse, breach of contract, promise without intent to perform, money lent, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Bagley says her son talked her into mortgaging her house and a rental house and lending him the proceeds, which totaled approximately $680,000.

She says her kid promised he would make all the mortgage payments "to repay plaintiff for all sums lent to defendant upon demand plus interest thereon at the legal rate."

But she says he defaulted and the houses were foreclosed on.

She says he also cashed out her $265,837 retirement account, and promised to pay that back on demand as well, also with interest.

But Bagley says the kid has refused to her dime one, despite her requests.

"Defendant stood in a position of trust to plaintiff, in that defendant Shields is the eldest son of plaintiff and had a close relationship with plaintiff," the complaint states.

"Defendant financially abused plaintiff by wrongfully taking, secreting, appropriating, and obtaining funds ... from plaintiff for a wrongful use and with the intent to defraud plaintiff ... . (S)aid funds were obtained solely for the benefit of the defendant."

She adds: "The monies have not been returned despite plaintiff's good faith attempt to recover her wrongfully obtained monies. Defendants, and each of them, could not have, absent bad faith and malice, failed to return plaintiff's monies after this request. Defendants knew or should have known that plaintiff had the right to those monies. ...

"Defendant, through his actions, has been guilty of recklessness, oppression, fraud, and malice in the commission of the above described abuse. ...

"Defendant's conduct as hereinabove described was intentional and malicious and done for the purpose of causing plaintiff to suffer humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress.

"As a proximate result of defendant's actions, plaintiff has suffered severe humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional and physical distress, and has been injured in mind and body in an amount according to proof at trial.

"As a further proximate result of defendant's actions, plaintiff was damaged in that plaintiff required medical treatment and incurred medical and related costs in an amount according to proof.

"In doing the acts herein alleged, defendant acted with oppression, fraud, and malice, and plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages in an amount according to proof."

Bagley is represented by Christopher Metzger, with Metzger & Owens, of Eureka.

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