Defendant in Hillbroom case asks for cross-claims to be dismissed

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One of the defendants that Junior Larry Hillbroom is suing in the District Court for the NMI has asked the court to dismiss cross-claims of his co-defendant in the case.

Hillbroom’s former trustee, Keith Waibel, one of the defendants in the case, has asked the federal court to dismiss with prejudice the cross-claims of one of his co-defendants, Barry Israel.

He said the claim against him is “almost laughable as it is much ado about nothing and is a blatant attempt to use the court to bully him.”

“Israel and his lawyer bullied me during my deposition. Conduct matters and Israel and his attorney have not behaved in this civil suit in a civil manner,” he said.

Israel recently filed a motion for summary judgment for his cross-claims against Waibel for defamation. Israel asked the court to rule against Waibel and award him $1.4 million and punitive damages in the amount of $400,000.

In response, Waibel said he was never interviewed by any media about Israel or Lujan and even declined to comment and refused to cooperate with the book and the film regarding the death of Larry Lee Hillblom.

Waibel said Israel, however, spoke with the New York Times, the writers of a book, the producers of a film and chose to make himself a public figure.

“My comments, which never named Israel, were among, at most, four individuals; Paul Flanney (Mr. Hillbroom and my business partner at the time) Jan Vail (another partner who was secretly working for Israel) and myself. Assertion that there is a criminal in Vietnam was only made public by Israel himself and only identified at my deposition when asked who I meant,” he said.

Israel and Lujan, who represented Hillbroom when he was a minor, secured $90 million from the Larry Lee Hillblom estate. When he became an adult, however, Hillbroom sued his former lawyers for malpractice and Waibel for conspiracy.

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven heirs of DHL Corp. founder Larry Lee Hillblom who died in a plane crash in 1995 near Saipan, leaving behind an estate estimated at about $600 million.

The court will hear Israel’s motion for summary judgment on Oct. 1 at 8:30am.

The court also vacated the jury trial scheduled for Oct. 27 and reset the trial for Dec. 1 at 10am.

Hillbroom sued his former attorneys, Lujan and Israel, and former trustee, Waibel, accusing them of conspiring to inflate their fees as his father’s estate was undergoing probate.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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