Aunt sues nephew over $1.2M Chase the Ace winnings in Cape Breton
A woman from Guysborough, N.S., has made good on her vow to take her nephew to court to pursue her claim to all the winnings of a Chase the Ace contest in Cape Breton.
Barbara Reddick paid for the ticket but asked her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis of Glace Bay, to buy it for her.
She admits she asked him to put his name on the ticket for good luck, but said the two never had an agreement to split the $1.2-million jackpot.
"She gave her nephew $100 to go buy some tickets. He did. He bought her tickets, he bought his own tickets and it was one of hers that won," said Reddick's lawyer, Adam Rodgers of Boudrot Rodgers.
"She agreed to have his name on the ticket for good luck. That's obviously been a point of contention for some people, but that in itself doesn't create a contract," he said.
That argument is the basis of the lawsuit.
"The ticket itself and just having the name on it isn't in itself a contract," said Rodgers. "You'd have to look at the intentions of the parties and the surrounding evidence to try to figure out those intentions."
Wants money frozen
Since there were two names on the ticket drawn on July 12, organizers of the contest split the jackpot and wrote separate cheques of $611,319.50 to both Reddick and MacInnis.
Rodgers said he has filed a lawsuit on Reddick's behalf in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury. He said he also filed a motion for a preservation order to prevent MacInnis from spending any of the money until the case is legally resolved.
The argument will be heard on Aug. 10.
MacInnis could not be reached for comment Friday
Lawyer says backlash 'quite upsetting'
Since raising the likelihood of suing her nephew, Reddick has been the subject of overwhelmingly negative commentary, particularly on social media.
Rodgers said his client has been very hurt by it.
"This is an elderly lady who worked for the navy for 23 years, has been very good to Mr. MacInnis over the years and they've had a close relationship," he said.
"So to see her portrayed in this way has been quite upsetting to her. I think if people would put themselves in her shoes, they would understand that."
Rodgers said his client is bothered by the breakdown in her relationship with her nephew.
Reddick did not have children of her own and she has supported her nephew financially and emotionally, he said.
"This is a very special person in her life. She was very involved, a positive influence in his life," he said.
"She hopes they can somehow reconcile that relationship in the future."
Dates have not yet been set for the hearing on the lawsuit itself, although Rodgers said he hopes the matter can be resolved by this fall.
"There's a lot of money involved, but the issues are not terribly complex and the evidence is not all that extensive," he said.