Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is reviving a challenge to changes to the Florida-based Alfred I. du Pont Trust that he claims hurt his state.
The News Journal reports that a notice of appeal filed with Florida's First District Court of Appeal on Friday seeks to overturn a September ruling. The ruling bars Biden from re-opening a 2004 reorganization of the trust that funds the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.
Biden claims the changes diluted Delaware residents' role in decisions when the $4.6 billion trust spends through the Nemours Foundation in Florida and were made without proper notice to Delaware. Nemours recently opened a $400 million children's hospital in Orlando, adding to a dozen clinics in Florida.
“My office has an obligation to ensure that Alfred I. du Pont's intentions to serve Delaware's children and senior citizens are followed,” Biden said in a statement Monday. He added that the appeal is “just one legal action in a series of proceedings that seek to address whether Mr. du Pont's clear intent has been met by the Nemours Foundation.”
There have been 13 lawsuits between Delaware and the trust since 1971, with 19 appeals to Florida appellate courts and nine additional appeals to the Florida Supreme Court.
Nemours and trust officials note that at least 50 percent of the trust's annual payout is spent in Delaware and point to a $257 million renovation of the Alfred I. du Pont Hospital for Children.
In a statement issued Monday, trust Chairman Hugh Durden calls the appeal “unfortunate and avoidable.” He noted that the appeal will cost taxpayers in both states and legal defense funds “would otherwise be invested in the care of children, the vast majority of whom reside in Delaware.”
“Nevertheless, the Trust remains dedicated to funding the Nemours Foundation, whose primary commitment is and has always been to the care of children in Delaware,” he wrote.