Recently, Schoenbeck & Erickson, PC, defended the Will and Trust of Phillip and Alice Mack when challenged by their son, Robert Mack. Mr. Mack claimed to have had a “partnership” with his father and that “partnership” entitled him to half of the present value of the farm. Robert Mack also made several other claims against the Estate and Trust relating to the manner in which the Estate and Trust manages their assets.
In total, Robert Mack asked the Codington County jury to award him $5 million. The jury verdict was unanimous, and they awarded him $0. Instead, the jury awarded the Estate of A. Mack $50,000 for her damages from an assault by Robert Mack before she passed. The jury additionally awarded $200,000 in punitive damages against Robert Mack.
Lastly, the trial court awarded the Estate and Trust of Phillip and Alice Mack an additional $168,795 in attorney fees.
Following the verdict, Robert Mack appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court. On February 3, 2023, the South Dakota Supreme Court dismissed his appeal.