The two eldest daughters of late Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen filed a motion on Friday in a Colorado court seeking to have his trust invalidated, contending he didn't have the mental capacity to know what he was signing when the trust was formed.
Amie Bowlen Klemmer and Beth Bowlen Wallace want to overturn the provisions of the Patrick D. Bowlen Trust, executed in 2009, which already has seen one unsuccessful challenge. In August, a judge dismissed a suit filed by Bill Bowlen, Pat's brother, seeking to remove the trust.
He filed his lawsuit after Wallace stated in early 2018 that she wanted to become controlling owner of the team but was told by trustees that she wasn't qualified. Bill Bowlen supports his niece's efforts.
The trust has overseen the team since Pat Bowlen, who had Alzheimer's disease, stepped down from his leadership position in 2014. He died in June at age 75.
Bowlen had seven children. Wallace and Klemmer are his children from his first marriage to Sally Edwards Parker, to whom he was married from 1968 to 1973. He married his second wife, Annabel, in 1980, and they had five children.
Giovanni Ruscitti, the attorney for Klemmer and Wallace, confirmed the filing of the petition in Arapahoe County Court.
"There is substantial and overwhelming evidence that Mr. Bowlen lacked the required capacity in 2009," Ruscitti said. "As a result, Ms. Klemmer and Ms. Wallace have filed a petition asking the court to decide. That issue, the related issue of whether the 2009 trust, which is the document under which the trustees have derived their power and authority, is valid and whether Mr. Bowlen was subjected to undue influence."
Dan Reilly, the attorney for the trustees, issued a statement through the Broncos.
"It is sad and unfortunate that Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Bowlen Klemmer have elected to contest their father's plan and attack his personal health. This complaint represents the latest effort in their public campaign to circumvent Pat Bowlen's wishes.
"The evidence in the courtroom will show Pat Bowlen was fully capable of establishing and understanding his trust and estate plan when it was created in 2009. Mses. Wallace and Klemmer's current position about their father's supposed mental incapacity in 2009 was not raised by them or their lawyers until after 2014, when Ms. Wallace was privately told by the trustees that she was not capable or qualified to serve as controlling owner.
"The trustees will continue to follow Pat Bowlen's plan to oversee and protect the team, the entire Bowlen family, and Broncos fans everywhere."
The NFL is serving as the arbitrator in the fight over the ownership of the Broncos at request of the trust, but the attorneys for Klemmer and Wallace are not satisfied with that solution, according to The Denver Post.
The Bowlen children presented a united front in early August when their father was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
--Field Level Media