Family accuses company of taking advantage of man with dementia

By Annie Cosby | May 30, 2014

KINGWOOD -- The family of a Terra Alta man is suing over claims he suffered from dementia when he was induced to sign a deed signing over his land's gas and oil interest.

Cynthia W. Van Heyde, as administratrix of the estate of Patrick A. Wolfe, filed a lawsuit May 1 in Preston Circuit Court against Jason M. Haskiell, Ashley M. Kyle, Jessica Miller, Susan Miller and Houses & More Inc., citing fraud.

According to the complaint, Wolfe entered into a contract with Houses & More to sell his 60-acre tract of land for $90,000 on June 8, but informed the defendants he intended to retain interest in the oil and gas underneath the property.

The complaint says an unknown note on the contract specified that oil and gas interest was included in the $90,000 price, which is far below the prevailing market value, but the plaintiff attended a meeting with Wolfe on Aug. 19, to specify the oil and gas interest were never meant to be sold.

Van Heyde says on Aug. 28, the defendants met with Wolfe, took advantage of his confused mental state and closed a transaction transferring the gas and oil interest to Haskiell and Kyle. Wolfe died Sept. 1, from dementia. The defendants are accused of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud.

Van Heyde is seeking the rescission of the deed and damages.

She is being represented in the case by attorneys William E. Ford III and Lisa Furbee Ford of Ford Law Office.

Preston Circuit Court Case No. 14-C-87


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