* * *
LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled against an Omaha woman Friday who filed a $100 million malpractice lawsuit against her attorney over the handling of a divorce.
Mary Kay Young claimed her lawyer, Pamela Govier of Omaha, gave bad advice by telling her to accept a divorce agreement that paid a $3 million lump sum and $12,500 in monthly alimony for up to 10 years. By signing the agreement, Young said she missed out on what could have been half of a $192 million marital estate.
Young was married to Henry A. Davis, chief executive of Greater Omaha Packing Co.
The high court upheld a ruling by Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon, who found that Young failed to prove negligence by her attorney.
The case stemmed from the couple's 2006 divorce. Several years prior, the couple came up with the agreement to divide assets and set alimony and child support payments. Both husband and wife, who were represented by their own private attorneys, signed the agreement.
Young later said the agreement should be voided because it was executed when she was under “stress, duress, and emotional collapse and was without control of her decision-making abilities.”
Friday's opinion marked the second time the Supreme Court has ruled in a case related to the divorce. In 2008, the court determined Young could not take out a $1 million life insurance policy on Davis as security for the alimony obligations.
In that case, the court said such insurance policies cannot be purchased unless they are owned by the insured party. To do otherwise constitutes “wagering on human lives,” the court said.
The Nebraska Supreme Court decision.