WHEELING -- A West Virginia woman is suing over claims her cousin was a victim of fraud shortly before his death.
Tylene Coffield, individually and as the executrix of the estate of William D. Behrens, deceased, filed a lawsuit March 19 in Ohio Circuit Court against Mary L. Cogley and Wesbanco Bank Inc., citing fraud.
According to the complaint, on Sept. 21, Cogley induced Behrens, who was of advanced age, decreasing mental faculties, recently out of the hospital and illiterate, to add Cogley's name to his bank account at Wesbanco. Wesbanco is accused of failing to intercede when they were aware of the dangerous relationship between Cogley and Behrens, as Cogley was terminated from employment with Wesbanco on suspicious circumstances several months prior. Behrens passed away on Nov. 25. According to the lawsuit, his will left everything to his cousin, Coffield, but Cogley fraudulently claims ownership of the $56,773 bank account by survivorship.
Cogley is accused of constructive fraud, unjust enrichment and tortious interference with testamentary disposition. Wesbanco is accused of vicarious liability, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Coffield is seeking the reinstatement of the value of the estate prior to Cogley's access to Behrens' account.
She is being represented in the case by attorneys Patrick S. Cassidy and Thomas M. Cunningham of Cassidy, Cogan, Shapell & Voegelin L.C. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Ronald E. Wilson.
Ohio Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-73