Siblings accuse trustee for breach of fiduciary duty

By Philip Gonzales | Nov 29, 2018

CLEARWATER — Two Pinellas County siblings are suing a trustee, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.

Steven Sternbeck and Susan Langley filed a complaint Nov. 12 in Pinellas Circuit Court against David Burford, alleging the trustee failed to protect the property of the trust.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 16, 2009, the plaintiffs' stepmother and Burford's mother transferred a homestead property to the trust agreement of Elisabeth B. Sternebeck. As a result of the defendant's conduct, the suit says, Sternbeck and Langley did not receive the benefits that their stepmother intended to confer to them after her death. 

The plaintiffs allege Burford wrongfully transferred the sale proceeds to a savings account titled Elisabeth and David despite the fact there was an account owned by the trust.

Sternbeck and Langley seek trial by jury, damages in excess of $ 15,000, exclusive of interest, court costs, attorney fees and all other appropriate relief. They are represented by attorneys Brandon D. Bellew and Caitlein J. Jammo of Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns LLP in Clearwater.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-7370-CI

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