LAS VEGAS (AP) — A probate court commissioner in Las Vegas denied a bid Friday by one of B.B. King's adult daughters to obtain the late blues icon's medical records from an executor who she alleges mishandled her father's finances and health before he died.
Patty King can use her position as a party in ongoing probate proceedings to subpoena the records she wants, Clark County Family Court Commissioner Wesley Yamashita said. He said he didn't need to issue a court order.
Brent Bryson, attorney for B.B. King's estate, told the judge that Patty King was fishing for evidence to support false claims the musician's longtime business manager and power-of-attorney, LaVerne Toney, looted his accounts and hastened his death on May 14 at age 89. Toney is now executor of the estate.
"Things are going along smoothly, the way they're supposed to," Bryson told Yamashita. "If they want to fish for something, they need to do it in a different way."
Lawyer Larissa Drohobyczer, representing Patty King, insisted her client wants the records because she doesn't trust Toney.
"It's not necessarily that she caused his death," Drohobyczer told Yamashita, "but that she breached her fiduciary duty as power-of-attorney."
Drohobyczer has said she thinks the estate is worth between $5 million and $10 million.
Bryson has said an accounting of King's assets, royalties, business and property holdings is still being conducted. He hasn't put a figure on the total.
B.B. King died of natural causes, Bryson said Friday, and Toney is carrying out King's own wishes to keep his private affairs private.
The lawyer for the estate noted that separate investigations by police and a county elder welfare agency in the months before King died failed to turn up evidence that King was abused or exploited.
Reviews by three doctors, including King's personal physician, found that he was properly cared-for before he died after several days of home hospice care, Bryson said.
An autopsy by the Clark County coroner found no evidence to prove allegations by Patty King and her sister, Karen Williams, that their father had been poisoned.
King died of Alzheimer's disease, plus physical conditions including coronary disease, heart failure and the effects of Type 2 diabetes, the coroner found.
B.B. King was survived by 11 adult children, and family members count 35 grandchildren. Several lent support to a failed court effort to block Toney's appointment June 25 as executor of the estate.
Patty King and her son were the only family members at Friday's hearing.
Outside court, Drohobyczer characterized Yamashita's ruling as a setback on a procedural issue. She and Patty King promised to keep fighting to get the medical records.
This story corrects the 9th paragraph to delete "not" and reflect King's wishes "to keep private affairs private."