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Tyner Family Files Lawsuit After Property Management Company Founder’s Death

A lawsuit has been filed regarding the death of a family-owned business owner.

Herbert Tyner and his cousin/business partner, Bernard Hartman, owned and operated Hartman and Tyner Inc., a property management company, for more than 60 years.

Tyner, after suffering from an illness for a while, died in August at 84 years old. Tyner’s wife, Suzanne, is claiming that Hartman has now gone back on his promise to take care of Tyner’s family and run Hartman and Tyner Inc. just like the two founders always had.

The Detroit News reports that instead, Hartman, also 84, and vice president, Daniel K. Adkins, are extending their own salaries. The lawsuit claims that Adkins and Hartman are “lining their own pockets” by giving themselves more than a million dollars in raises and bonuses, and giving nothing to the Tyners.

While Herbert Tyner was on his deathbed, the lawsuit states that, “Mr. Hartman promised Mr. Tyner that his wife of 60 years, Suzanne Tyner, would be taken care of upon his death.”

“We will eventually respond to the complaint and deny virtually everything in it,” Adkins said.

According to LexisNexis, about 55% of Americans don’t have an active estate plan or will in place. In Tyner’s situation, much of the plan rested with his cousin and business partner, making it much more complicated.

“We believe the Tyner family has been treated fairly,” Adkins said. “We will deny all these accusations and defend ourselves vigorously.”

Since 1953 when their company began, both Tyner and Hartman split everything right down the middle. During the last few months of Tyner’s life, his daughter Deborah had power of attorney and began attempting to help her family with Tyner’s assets.

According the Daily Racing Form, Herbert Tyner received his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Ohio State University and partnered with Hartman in 1953.

Tyner was also survived by Karen Tyner Rouff, Cynthia Tyner Dobbins, and David Tyner.

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