United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR
Dennis Saylor IV United States District Judge
an intra-family dispute, arising out of the circumstances
surrounding the last years and death of Garabed Dragoonian.
Plaintiff Diana Torosian is Dragoonian’s daughter, and
plaintiff Charles Torosian is her husband and
Dragoonian’s son-in-law. Defendant Sandra Garabedian
was apparently the companion of Dragoonian for many years.
Plaintiffs are proceeding pro se.
complaint asserts three counts, which overlap and are not
entirely coherent. In substance, plaintiffs appear to assert
two claims. First, they assert that Sandra Garabedian caused
them severe emotional distress because (1) she prevented
Dragoonian from having contact with Diana for some years and
(2) failed to notify Diana of the time and place of her
father’s death and funeral, causing her to miss the
funeral. Second, they assert that Garabedian, in some
unspecified way, interfered with Diana’s inheritance
under Dragoonian’s will and prevented her from
recovering money and property that had been promised to her.
reasons stated below, defendant’s motion for summary
judgment will be granted.
where otherwise noted, the following facts are either
undisputed or taken in the light most favorable to the
Dragoonian was, at the time of his death, a resident of
Hampstead, New Hampshire. (Docket No. 34 at 6). For some
number of years, he had a companion named Sandra Garabedian,
who was also a resident of New Hampshire. (Id. at
5-6). Dragoonian died on November 5, 2014. (Id. at
6). The complaint alleges that Dragoonian suffered from
dementia and amnesia in the last years of his life. (Compl.
Torosian is the daughter of Dragoonian. (Id. at 5).
Diana is a resident of Methuen, Massachusetts. (Docket No. 34
at 6). She is not, apparently, the daughter of Sandra
Garabedian. (Id.). Charles Torosian is Diana’s
and Diana apparently had a difficult relationship.
(Id. at 6). According to Diana’s daughter,
Garabedian “would interfere with the phone
conversations between Red and Diana.” (Id.).
During his last years, Garabedian allegedly kept Dragoonian
from having contact with Diana. (Am. Compl. ¶ 4). The
complaint further alleges that Garabedian failed to notify
Diana of Dragoonian’s death and burial, and refused to
give her “access” to his will. (Compl.
¶¶ 3-5). Diana appears to contend that Dragoonian
promised to leave her a substantial sum after his death, and
that Garabedian has somehow interfered with this inheritance.
(Compl. ¶ 8). It appears that a will, purportedly
Dragoonian’s, was probated in New Hampshire. (Def. Opp.
Mem. at 1). Plaintiffs contend that this will is
illegitimate. (Am. Compl. at 2).
filed a complaint in this action on June 17, 2015. Defendant
filed three separate motions to dismiss on July 28, 2015. The
Court issued an order on September 25, 2015, directing
plaintiffs to show cause why the complaint should not be
dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs
filed a response to the show-cause order on October 16, 2015,
together with an amended complaint. Defendant then filed a
further motion to dismiss on October 19, 2015. On December 4,
2015, the Court issued an order dismissing all of
plaintiffs’ claims except for their claims of
intentional infliction of emotional distress
(“IIED”) and intentional interference with
inheritance or gift.
March 31, 2016, defendant moved for summary judgment as to
the remaining claims. Defendant contends that she is entitled
to summary judgment because (1) New Hampshire does not
recognize the tort of the intentional interference with
inheritance or gift and (2) plaintiffs have not established
the elements of an IIED claim.