Trusts & Estates
Night nurse for reclusive heiress seeks piece of $300 million estate
Posted Jan 10, 2014 4:00 PM CDT
By Mark Hansen
Nurse Geraldine Coffey was paid $130,000 a year to take care of reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark every night for 20 years. She also received more than $1 million in gifts from Clark prior to her death in 2011.
But Coffey, who was left out of Clark's will, is now suing the dead woman's estate for a share of her estimated $300 million fortune, the Daily Mail reports.
The suit says Clark promised to "provide for" Coffey in her will.
But lawyers for the estate are countersuing Coffey for the return of Clark's gifts to her, including real estate worth $385,000 and $85,000 in school fees for her children.
It says that Coffey, while "purportedly caring" for Clark, repeatedly pressured the elderly heiress into giving her and her family gifts, including a $7.5 million apartment. It also accuses Coffey of putting her own needs ahead of Clark's.
Clark was the childless daughter of U.S. senator and industrialist William A. Clark, who made a fortune in mining and railroads. She died in 2011 at the age of 104.
A bitterly fought court fight over Clark's estate was thought to have been settled in September. But in November, New York City's public administrator filed suit on behalf of the estate against one of Clark's doctors and the hospital where she died, saying they allowed her to live there—even though it wasn't medically necessary—in order to get more of her money.