Student Sues His Own Mother for Withholding $5,000 Bar Mitzvah Gift, Wins
A son received $5,000 after he sued his mother for never giving him his grandmother’s bar mitzvah gift from eight years ago.
In 2007, Jordan Zeidman was celebrating his bar mitzvah when his mother, Shirley, 54, and his maternal grandmother, Rachel Steinfeld — whom Zeidman calls “Baba” — showed up unannounced, according to the New York Post. Due to a bitter divorce, Zeidman’s mother and grandmother were never extended an official invite.
At Nassau County Small Claims Court, Zeidman testified that during the celebration he had a conversation in the synagogue with his grandmother while his mother stood nearby. According to the court report, Zeidman stated:
“And she (Baba) was like, ‘I have $5,000 for you. Just like I gave to your brother and sister. And I’m going to give it to your mom to hold for you.’ ”
However, after that conversation, Zeidman said that he never received a dime of the money. In his college fund there was even a handwritten note on top of a bank statement that read:
“I owe Jordan $190 + $5,000 from Baba.”
While Zeidman’s mother claims she does not remember writing the note, she admitted that “it could be” her handwriting.
In his nine-page ruling, Nassau District Court Judge Scott Fairgrieve found Zeidman’s mother liable for both conversion and unjust enrichment.
While Jordan was awarded $5,000 that was “held for [his] benefit and continues to hold, in violation of her fiduciary duty,” his lawyer, Steven Cohn, said with court fees and interest it will “probably be closer to $10,000.”
Jeffrey Schecter, lawyer for Shirley Zeidman, said he will make an appeal because he claims the verdict wasn’t supported by the presented evidence.
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