Cullen Davis Declares Chapter Seven Bankruptcy
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Industrialist T. Cullen Davis filed for personal bankruptcy protection Thursday in a move his attorney says will show others the futility of trying to collect money from him.
The bankruptcy filing will block all pending civil action against Davis, who recently avoided paying millions of dollars in civil damages when a wrongful death suit ended in a mistrial, said Davis’ lawyer, Steve Sumner.
Davis filed under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which calls for voluntary liquidation of assets.
″One thing this does is it points out the futility of the plaintiffs ever being able to recover money from Cullen,″ said Sumner, who represented Davis in the wrongful death suit. Another lawyer is representing Davis in the bankruptcy action.
Sumner denied Davis took the action to escape from suits resulting from a fatal shooting spree that occurred at his Fort Worth mansion in 1976.
Davis was sued for $16.5 million in damages by his ex-wife, Priscilla Davis, and her former husband, Jack Wilborn, for the death of their 12-year- old daughter, Andrea Wilborn.
The case ended in a mistrial last month with jurors deadlocked 8-4 in favor of Mrs. Davis and Wilborn.
Since the mistrial, both have said they would take Davis to court again in connection with the shootings, which also killed Mrs. Davis’ boyfriend, Stan Farr.
″It’s not related to these cases,″ said Sumner. ″Some of the best evidence is the fact that two months ago we could have done the very same thing and not gone through the trial.
″At one point we really believed during the course of the trial that the creditors were going to throw him into involuntary bankruptcy,″he said. ″It’s certainly not a ploy in any respect.″
Davis was acquitted of murder in the mansion shootings 10 years ago. The two survivors of the incident testified he was the gunman, disguised in a wig and wearing black.
A suit from the estate of Stan Farr is still pending against Davis.
The Fort Worth millionaire’s financial fortunes have fallen with the oil and real estate industries.
Several companies owned by Kendavis Industries, the conglomerate run by Cullen Davis and his brother Ken Davis, are already in bankruptcy.
The Davis brothers, once listed among the 400 wealthiest Americans by Forbes magazine, control companies with interests in rubber products, lighting fixtures, air conditioning, heavy equipment and energy exploration, equipment and services.