Council on Aging director suing elderly woman's family for talking about her
BATON ROUGE- The Director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging has sued the family of one of her elderly clients again.
In court records obtained by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit, Tasha Clark Amar claimed Helen Plummer's family defamed her in a series of news reports and at a luncheon where they spoke to a crowd. The lawsuit states Clark Amar has been suffering from mental anguish, distress, medical and pharmaceutical expenses, inconvenience, fear and fright, embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation, loss of ability to participate in normal activities, emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of reputation, and loss of earning capacity.
Clark Amar was named as the overseer of Helen Plummer's estate last July. Plummer's will stated Clark Amar was to pay herself $500 per month for the next 20 years. She stood to gain over $120,000 until the Investigative Unit exposed the questionable way this was done. The family said Clark Amar never told them a thing.
Following WBRZ reports, Clark Amar stepped off of Plummer's will.
The will was drafted by Dorothy Jackson, a Council on Aging Board Member and employee at Southern University's Elder Law Clinic. The university has since suspended Jackson over the way this will was handled. Chairman of the Council on Aging Board, Brandon Dumas, resigned after a WBRZ Investigative Unit report showed he was not living in East Baton Rouge, a requirement of serving on the board.
In an original lawsuit, Clark Amar and Dorothy Jackson took Plummer's family to court, trying to put the succession into motion.
About the new lawsuit, legal scholars at LSU said they aren't impressed with the defamation lawsuit and said the public shouldn't be fooled. They believe the lawsuit was filed to intimidate Plummer's family and stop them from talking about Clark Amar.
"Many people file defamation suits to basically get other people to shut up and go away," LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said. "There's no more polite way to say it. It's an intimidation tactic. 'Stop talking about me or I'll sue' is the threat, they'll go ahead and sue."
Clark Amar's attorney Charlotte McDaniel McGehee said her client's reputation has been damaged with everything the Plummer family has said.
"The parties to this lawsuit have made several misstatements to where Ms. Clark Amar was when she was making these decisions," McGehee said. "She was asked by a friend to administer her estate after her passing. From that point on there has been continuation of attacking her."
A temporary restraining order was also filed against the Plummer family to prevent them from talking about the allegations involving Clark Amar.
McGehee said Clark Amar is paying her out of her own personal accounts and is not using Council on Aging money to sue the family.