La Jolla Philanthropist Ernest Rady prevails in court in family dispute over holdings

City News Service

La Jolla philanthropist Ernest Rady won a victory today over eight family members who claimed he offered to buy them out of the family’s holding company but later reneged on the multimillion-dollar deal.

Rady’s nieces and nephews -- most of whom are from Canada -- sued their uncle in 2009, trying to get Rady to uphold his supposed promise to buy them out of American Assets Inc.

After today’s verdict, Rady said he was ashamed of his family.

“Even though I won the case, I feel like I lost,” Rady told reporters. “I lost my family.”

Rady’s attorneys said their client made no such offer but instead sent emails to family members beginning in 2007, gauging their interest in a buyout.

With the financial crunch in the United States in full swing in 2008, Rady was unable to go forward with his proposal, his attorneys said.

Rady’s net worth was estimated at $1.6 billion in 2008, according to Forbes Magazine.

The plaintiffs were seeking about $200 million in damages.