File this particular probate litigation story under the “only in LA” category. As reported here, this gem of a case is on its way to California’s Supreme Court. The following are a few excerpts from the linked-to story:
A nasty fight over $1.1 million between a dead man’s daughter from a former marriage and his second wife — allegedly a prostitute whom he was planning to divorce — has landed in the [California] Supreme Court.
Soon after crane operator Raymond Corder died in a construction accident in May 2001, Shaoping “Sherry” Corder — his wife of eight months — and Lisa Corder — his adult daughter from a first marriage — filed wrongful death actions that were consolidated.
The two got a $1.1 million settlement, but couldn’t agree how to apportion it. At a subsequent trial, Lisa Corder presented evidence that she and her father were very close and that he had been preparing to divorce his new wife because she allegedly was working as a prostitute against his wishes.
Giving the seemingly imminent divorce great weight, Orange County Superior Court Judge Randell Wilkinson allocated 90 percent of the settlement money to Corder’s daughter and 10 percent to his second wife.
Probate litigation may be many things, but boring isn’t one of them.