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Sisters sue stepfather, half-brother over settlement from suit stemming from mother's death

By Carol Ostrow | Mar 17, 2015

Two Naperville sisters are suing family members over claims they conspired to exclude them from sharing in the proceeds of a settlement from a lawsuit brought over their mother's death.

Dawn DeBois-Weber and Dana DeBois filed a lawsuit March 4 in Cook County Circuit Court against Julius Polk of Florida and Tony DeBois, who the suit says is currently incarcerated in Arkansas.

The plaintiffs’ mother, Brenda Wilson-DeBois, died in 2008. She was survived by Tony and Tiffany, children from her first marriage, and Dawn and Dana, children from her second marriage, as well as two adopted children, according to the complaint.

At the time of her death, the suit says Brenda had been married to Polk, her fifth husband, for about eight weeks. Following her death, Polk and Tony decided to pursue a wrongful death suit and allegedly agreed to exclude Dawn and Dana from sharing in any recovery.

The plaintiffs further claim that Polk and Tony conspired to have Polk appointed as estate administrator in August 2009, and misrepresented the number of Brenda's heirs by saying Polk, Tony and Tiffany were the only surviving next-of-kin.

The lawsuit, settled in July 2013, awarded Brenda's estate $2.5 million, and Polk petitioned the court for disbursement of the funds without notifying the plaintiffs, the complaint says.

The plaintiffs allege Polk willfully and deliberately mistreated them by excluding them from the lawsuit filed over their mother's death. They are seeking a share of the settlement proceeds, $649,177.86, plus exemplary damages, attorney fees and costs.

They are represented by attorneys Joel Goldblatt, Douglas Bax and Tricia Putzy of Willams Bax & Saltzman in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number: 2015L002205.

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