Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz is a boutique litigation and trial law firm that handles almost exclusively high-stakes litigation matters. Though its flagship office is in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz handles complex commercial litigation, class actions, consumer protection litigation, personal injury, and wrongful death matters across the United States and the world.

$100 Million Verdict


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$100 Million Verdict in Aviation Lawsuit

Attorney On the Case: Todd Payne

In this tragic accident, on November 10, 2007, a 25 year old pilot with approximately four hundred (400) hours of flying time was flying banners along the beach in a Piper Pawnee. Plaintiff returned to the airport to drop off the banner at the designated northwest quadrant of the airport. There were two active north/south parallel runways: 36L and 36R. The air traffic controller gave the pilot an instruction to proceed downwind between the two parallel runways to land on the right runway. During the attempted landing, the aircraft crashed as the pilot performed the aerial maneuvers required of the instruction. The Plaintiff survived, but with very serious traumatic brain injury, severe cognitive and neurological deficits. He is permanently disabled. Plaintiff claimed that the instruction was a non-standard instruction and not authorized by the FAA which caused his plane to stall and crash.

Defendant denied Plaintiff’s claims and liability was highly contested. Defendant blamed Plaintiff for stalling the aircraft and argued that if Plaintiff was not comfortable with the instruction he had the authority to decline it and ask for another instruction. Defendant also named Plaintiff’s employer but the jury did not assess any liability to the employer.

This case qualified for The National Law Journal’s “Big Money Wins of 2013” in the Top 50 settlements nationally. It was ranked #6.

The Daily Business Review (DBR) ranked this case among the “Top Florida Verdicts of 2013”. It was #5.


$42.5 Million Verdict against Big Tobacco's RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris

ZPSL Partner Ed Zebersky, along with the Ratzan Law Group, obtained a 42.5 Million Dollar Verdict against Big Tobacco’s RJ Reynolds and Phillip Morris.

The verdict came after a hard-fought, multi-year battle, which included an appeal to Florida’s Third District Court and two trials lasting in excess of three weeks. The first trial took place in early 2018 and culminated in a 17.5 Million Dollar verdict. The Defendants appealed and the Appellate court ordered a new trial, citing a piece of hearsay evidence that was introduced to the jury. But that did not dissuade the ZPSL and Ratzan team. They geared the case up for a second trial and, after yet another three week jury trial, Zebersky and Ratzan obtained a jury verdict of 42.5 Million Dollars–more than double the verdict in the first trial. This is an excellent result for the family of Irene Gloger, a wonderful woman who died too young as a result of Big Tobacco’s bad acts.

As part of the verdict, the jury sent a clear message to Big Tobacco and handed down a 27.5 Million Dollar punitive damage award to dissuade the Defendants for repeating the conduct that has affected so many families across the world.

$40 Million Settlement after Verdict in Health Insurance Class Action

This is a class action suit against an out of state group health insurance company who decided to embark on the pattern and practice of raising its insured’s premiums when they were sick and based on other health related factors. The company did this in the hopes of making it financially impossible for the sick people who had the health plan to afford to keep the plan. Most of the people affected by this scam were near the age of 65 and Medicare eligibility. The insurance company defended the suit by saying that Florida law which protected the insureds did not apply to it because it was an out-of-state group.

The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to strip the company of its out of state group exemption and have Florida law apply to its pattern and practice. After obtaining this judgment from the court, the parties settled with the company and agreed to reimburse all persons for the extra premiums that they paid, to provide people who could not afford the premium increases with an insurance policy with reasonable premiums and to reimburse insureds’ out-of-pocket losses.

$39 Million Class Action Settlement in Property Insurance Class Action

Richmond Manor v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds – This was a multifaceted class action where the class asserted that all of the Lloyd’s syndicates that wrote property insurance in the State of Florida failed to adequately notify their policyholders of the use of an extremely large hurricane deductible which was applied during the many hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004-2005.  After prolonged litigation Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was able to secure a settlement for the entire class which entitled some class members to as much as $500,000.00 in damages.  Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was also able to resolve a similar class action against PHLD v. Arch Specialty Insurance Company for a total of $22.5 Million Dollars where some class members were entitled to as much as $700,000.00.

$22.5 Million Class Action Settlement: PHLD v. Arch Specialty Insurance Company

In this class action the defendant, a surplus lines insurance company, failed to properly follow Florida law invalidating several clauses in the policy that permitted the insurance company to shortchange business owners who submitted hurricane claims. Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was able to settle these claims with each client being able to obtain the monies that were wrongfully withheld.  Some class members were entitled to as much as $700,000.00 for their claims.

$18 Million Judgment for a Quadriplegic Injured From a Gun Wound
Our client, Robert, was accidently shot by his cousin in his grandmother’s house. The grandmother’s homeowners insurance company refused to defend and/or pay for the claim asserted by Robert. An $18.5 million judgment was rendered against Robert’s grandmother. The grandmother assigned her right to sue her insurance company and others who were responsible to provide insurance coverage to our client. The insurance company did not pay because it claimed that the insurance policy lapsed when it did not receive a premium payment. These payments should have been made by the bank that held the grandmother’s mortgage through an escrow account. The bank received notice of nonpayment but did nothing and eventually the policy was canceled. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP brought a lawsuit against the insurance company and several banks that were involved with the mortgage. Ultimately, we were able to procure a confidential settlement which included a bad faith recovery from the insurance company for our client and his family.
$17.5 Million Verdict Against Tobacco Companies

After a four-week jury trial in Miami-Dade County, Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP, along with Stuart Ratzan and Stuart Weissman of the Ratzan Law Group, secured a $17.5 Million verdict against big tobacco’s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Phillip Morris USA.

The lawsuit, The Estate of Irene Gloger v. R.J. Reynolds et al., which alleged gross negligence, fraudulent concealment, strict liability, and civil conspiracy, sought damages for a victim of tobacco’s once intentionally hidden dangers. The verdict, which included $10,000,000.00 in punitive damages, was the culmination of a seven year battle.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to bring some closure to the Gloger family. We hope that this verdict will deter all industries from violating the most basic produce safety rule: do not manufacture and mass market a product that causes harm. This verdict also speaks volumes that violation of this basic rule will not be tolerated by the South Florida community” said Edward H. Zebersky of Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP.

This lawsuit was the result of the groundbreaking “Engle” class action, which helped uncover a 45-year-old conspiracy between the tobacco industry to hide not only the harmful effects of smoking but also that “nicotine” the drug in cigarettes, is addictive.

“It is simply unbelievable to listen to the evidence showing how the tobacco companies hatched a conspiracy to lie to the American public to keep them smoking, and resulting in the death of one in two daily smokers,” said Zebersky.

$13 Million Class Action Settlement Based On Auto Insurer's Wrongful Conduct

This class action arose out of the insurance company’s arbitrary reduction of payments for benefits incurred by victims of automobile accidents under their personal injury protection insurance. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to settle this claim whereby doctors and insureds were able to obtain all of the benefits that they were entitled to for treatment which resulted from injuries sustained in an automobile collision.

$11 Million Class Settlement in PPO Class Action

Joseph v. Nationwide – Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP obtained an $11 Million settlement of a class action based on Nationwide’s failure to adequately pay insurance benefits to health care providers. This case involved Nationwide’s wrongful use of a PPO network to reduce the amounts paid to health care providers. Additionally, this case also resolved Nationwide’s use of a faulty database to determine the reasonable and customary benefit payments to the health care providers. This settlement represents approximately 100% of the potential damages awardable under this claim.

$8 Million Dollar Jury Verdict in Healthcare Provider-Payor Dispute

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz (“ZPSL”) attorneys Todd Payne and Steffani Russo litigated and tried a 2-week jury trial on behalf of a statewide group of anesthesiologists against an insurance company who intentionally underpaid the doctors for their medical services in order to increase the insurance company’s profits.  ZPSL’s efforts resulted in a jury verdict of eight (8) million dollars against the insurance company.

Attorney On the Case: Todd Payne

$6 Million Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Mike Lewenz and Ed Zebersky were able to secure a $2MM US and $5MM CAD insurance policy for a woman who was hit by and elderly Canadian driver while sitting on a bench in a parking lot.  Thankfully the client was not killed, but sustained serious damages.  Mike and Ed are continuing to obtain justice for the client by suing the owner of the shopping center who negligently placed the bench too close to the parking lot.

$5 Million Dollar Jury Verdict

After a three-day jury trial, Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP’s Ed Zebersky and Steffani Russo obtained a $5 Million Dollar Jury Verdict on behalf of the family of a young girl who passed away in a tragic accident. The Plaintiffs were the family of a 21-year-old college student, who was one of three passengers in a car making a left turn onto Okeechobee Blvd when it was suddenly struck by an Okeechobee Sheriff’s Deputy who was speeding without using his emergency lights or sirens. The impact killed two of the girls, including the Plaintiffs’ daughter, and severely injured the third. The Plaintiffs immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and have lived in Okeechobee, Florida since 1981. The verdict comes after a long-fought battle that included an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, and embodies Ed Zebersky’s core beliefs: Trial by jury results in justice and accountability; it also brings closure to those whose lives have been shattered.

$4.5 Million Award against Maker of Birth Control Drug for Causing Stroke

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a woman who suffered a disabling stroke which was caused by a popular birth control device. After protracted litigation against the manufacturer, the matter was settled.

Attorney On the Case: Todd Payne

$3.8 Million Settlement in Business Dispute

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz attorneys Jordan Shaw and Kimberly Slaven piloted their client Zhijun Mao’s case through Broward Circuit Court, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, and eventually mediation to reach a favorable conclusion. Their client accused defendant James Hannon of defrauding him in a North Dakota Land Deal.

$3.15 Million Settlement of Betterment Class Action

In this class action suit, the insurance company was reducing the amounts that it was paying for damage done to a person’s car in a car wreck for something called a betterment. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to bring a lawsuit claiming that this betterment charge was not permitted under Florida law and/or the insurance policy.

$2.8 Million Appraisal Award for Hurricane Wilma Claim

Watergate v. QBE Insurance Co. – Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP assisted the client in obtaining a $2.8 Million appraisal award for damages arising from Hurricane Wilma.  During this claim legal action was required in order to dispense with the insurance company’s many coverage defenses to the claim.  In the end, the neutral appraiser was convinced that all of the damages claimed by Watergate, a 25 plus year old community were a direct result of the hurricane and compensable under the policy.

$2.7 Million Class Action Arbitration Judgment

In this interesting case, the lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to convince an arbitration panel to certify a class in arbitration. This may have been the first class action certified in arbitration in the State of Florida. Ultimately, the lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to obtain a multi-million dollar judgment against an insurance company for its failure to follow Florida law with respect to the payment of interest on late paid personal injury protection benefits. Unfortunately, this judgment might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and the insurance company was taken over by the State of Florida shortly after the award was confirmed.

$2.5 Million Jury Verdict in Negligent Security Case against Wackenhut Security

Ed Zebersky and Steffani Russo along with Phil Gold represented 3 sons of a hospital worker who was shot by a man in the hospital parking lot. The plaintiff sued Wackenhut for providing inadequate security at the hospital. After a lengthy trial, the jury awarded the sons $2.5MM in damages.

$2.025 Million Church Real Estate Property Sold

After Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP’s commercial real estate client tried for over eight (8) years to sell 7.5 acres of its Pompano Beach church property, Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP’s real estate team successfully closed the deal for $2,025,000.00 in July, 2013. The property was purchased by one of America’s largest home builders who expects to add affordable townhouse units which will also improve the property values in the area. Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP also assisted the client with leasing another portion of the church’s property which consisted of lease negotiations, drafting and revising the lease agreement, and performing a comprehensive search on the proposed tenant(s) and any guarantor(s) to the Lease Agreement. Zebersky & Payne is now assisting the client with screening prospective buyers for the purchase of another portion of the church’s property.

Attorney On the Case: Todd Payne

$2 Million Class Action Settlement

This class action suit against Allstate was based on the defendant’s failure to properly pay personal injury protection benefits. It resulted in an award of 100 cents on the dollar plus interest for persons affected.

$2 Million Settlement for Person Injured on People Mover

The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a young father who was thrown against a post in a people mover at the Orlando International Airport that stopped midway from the terminal to the gates. We were able to prove that the computer system guiding the people mover malfunctioned causing the sudden stop. The Plaintiff sustained a back and neck injury and underwent two surgeries.

$2 Million - confidential settlement Med Mal

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a child who was born with a condition that went undiagnosed for several months that resulted in the child losing part of his intestines. The physicians and health care facilities involved did not have adequate insurance, but a settlement in excess of the policy limits was reached.

$1.95 Million confidential settlement

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a man who was traveling on a motorcycle that was hit by a van. The man suffered a severe leg fracture that required several surgeries on his leg and knee.  Prior to trial Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was able to obtain this settlement for their client without the need to go to a jury.

$1.85 Million Settlement in Premises Liability/Slip and Fall

Mike Lewenz and Ed Zebersky were able to secure a $1.85MM settlement for a man that had several leg surgeries as a result of a slip and fall incident while walking into a dry cleaning store. The store was in a shopping center that had a sidewalk was coated with paint that kept water on the surface. This dangerous condition caused people to track water into the dry cleaner from the outside. The dry cleaner was also negligent because it did not place a mat at the entrance to the store to prevent slip and fall incidents.

$1.85 Million Settlement for Brain-Injured Motorcycle Crash Victim

The Plaintiff suffered an injury when his motorcycle was struck by a car. The car had a minimal insurance policy, but Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP claimed that the accident was in part caused by plants that were put in the median which obstructed the drivers view. Suit was brought against the landscape architect, the City, County and State of Florida claiming that the choice of plants for the median violated proper road landscape standards and would cause a site line obstruction once the plants were at full growth. The animation showed the jury how a difference in the height of the plants made the difference in the driver’s ability to see the motorcycle.

$1.7 Million Class Action Settlement

This class action suit against Nationwide was based on the defendant’s failure to properly pay personal injury protection benefits. The affected parties received an award of 100 cents on the dollar plus interest.

$1.2 Million Verdict against Tobacco Company

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented the widow of a 50 year smoker of RJ Reynolds cigarettes claiming that the cigarette manufacturer caused her husband’s lung and esophageal cancer.

$1 Million+ Class Action Settlement

ZPSL lawyers Jordan A. Shaw and Kim Slaven recently obtained final approval of a class action settlement for $1,015,502.20 plus $50,000.00 in administration costs.

In the case, Kuhr v. Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, et. al., Plaintiff Natalie Kuhr alleged that Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and Professional Service Bureau engaged in improper “balance billing” under Florida’s no-fault insurance statute.
Class members will each receive over $800.00 without the need to submit a claim or other documentation

$1 Million Policy Limit Settlement for Victim of Robbery

Client, a robbery victim who was shot three times in the parking lot of a market in Broward County and lost a leg. Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz reached a $1 million settlement with the owner of a market where he was robbed. The $1 million dollars represents all available insurance proceeds. The market had a history of robberies in a high-crime area but did not hire a security guard or limit its hours of operation.

$1 Million Award on behalf of Pedestrian

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP obtained a $1 Million award on behalf of a pedestrian who was struck as he was crossing the street.

$1 Million Total Settlement in Funeral Home Negligence Case

McWhite’s Funeral Home settled after mixing up the bodies of two stillborn infants. Richard Pravato was among the attorneys representing the children’s families.

$950,000 Settlement: Product Liability suit

The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a man who had a total hip replacement using a defective medical device requiring removal of the prosthetic hip and reconstruction.  We were able to get this extraordinary settlement by proving that our client’s injuries were going to affect him for the rest of his life and would limit the types of jobs he could perform.

$810,000 Total Verdict in Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation Case

After a four-day jury trial, Jordan A. Shaw, Esq. of Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP and Jon Jacobson, Esq. of Jacobson Law, P.A. secured a jury verdict on behalf of their Clients, William and Jessie Soffin. The jury found for the Soffins on “Count 1 – Negligent Misrepresentation” against Clean Coal Technologies Inc., its former CEO, Douglas Hague, and its former Director of Investor Relations, C.J. Douglas, and awarded the Soffins $405,153.36. The jury also found for the Soffins on “Count 2 – Fraud” against Douglas Hague and C.J. Douglas, awarding the Soffins another $405,153.36, jointly and severally between the two Defendants. The lawsuit, styled Soffin v. Clean Coal Technologies, Inc. et al. Case No. 50-2010-CA-028706alleged that Clean Coal Technologies, Inc. along with Douglas Hague, and C.J. Douglas, committed fraud and negligent misrepresentations, causing financial injury to the Plaintiffs. 

$762,500 Class Action Settlement For Illegal Condo Fees

Wiggins v. Icon Brickell No. 1 –Jordan Shaw and Kimberly Slaven from Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz’s along with Aaron Resnick from the law offices of Aaron Resnick, procured a $762,500 Class Action Settlement on behalf of a class of persons who were charged illegal condominium transfer fees. Condominiums in Florida are prohibited from charging more than $100.00 in connection with the sale, transfer, mortgage, lease, or sublease, of a condominium unit.

$750,000 Settlement for Woman Who Fell Off Ramp

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a diabetic woman that fell while going up a ramp.  The ramp did not have handrails which caused the client to fall several feet breaking her ankle.  Unfortunately for the client the wound did not heal requiring a below the knee amputation.  Through the use of a design and construction expert, we were able to prove that the ramp was not designed to building codes.  The case was settled before trial.

$750,000 Settlement for Products Liability Suit

A marine hook was used to tow a jet ski from a boat which failed, sending part of the hook back towards the boat striking our client’s forearm.  Suit was brought against the distributor of the hook which was made in China.  Through metrological testing Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was able to show that during the manufacturing process the hook was not properly cooled causing the steel to be porous and not able to withstand a normal load.

$700,000 Settlement for a Church Damaged By Hurricane

Our client suffered considerable damage as a result of a hurricane. When its insurance company did not treat the church fairly, it turned to the lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP for help. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to minimize the coinsurance penalty which was being applied to the claim and convince the insurance company that the church’s claim was worth a lot more than the insurance company was willing to pay.

$694,570 Class Action Settlement For Illegal Condo Fees

Lasseter v. Quantum on the Bay No. 1 –Jordan Shaw and Kimberly Slaven from Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz’s along with Aaron Resnick from the law offices of Aaron Resnick, procured a $762,500 Class Action Settlement on behalf of a class of persons who were charged illegal condominium transfer fees. Condominiums in Florida are prohibited from charging more than $100.00 in connection with the sale, transfer, mortgage, lease, or sublease, of a condominium unit.

$620,000 Policy Limits Appraisal Award for Motel Damaged By Hurricane

Our client claimed that a hurricane caused severe structural damage to its building. Citizens claimed that the hurricane caused no damage. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to convince a neutral appraiser during the appraisal process that the entire structure of our client’s building was rendered unsafe from a phenomenon called “uplift.” The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP also used sophisticated meteorological and engineering experts to establish that, even though the hurricane did not cause much damage to buildings surrounding that of our client, the motel’s location along the channel combined with the motel’s type of roof caused the damage.

$500,000 Rear-End Collision Settlement

The Plaintiff sustained numerous injuries in Fort Myers, Florida, when his vehicle was rear-ended while stationary at a red traffic light. The Defendant’s failure to stop caused the Plaintiff’s vehicle to be propelled into the car ahead, rendering it a total loss. The Plaintiff endured significant injuries, particularly to the neck and lower back. Despite facing numerous challenges, Michael T. Lewenz and his team worked tirelessly to secure a $500,000 settlement for the Plaintiff.

Confidential Settlement for a Wrongful Death Caused By Car Collision—Bad Faith Settlement

In this tragic case, two people were killed as a result of an automobile collision. The driver of one of the vehicles was a migrant farm worker who was driving a van with a license plate for one of his employer’s vehicles. The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP brought suit against the owner of van and the employer based on negligence. The owner of the van had a New Jersey insurance policy with $100,000 in coverage and the employer had a policy for another $300,000. The employer claimed that the driver was not operating the van during normal business hours and did not have permission to use the license plate. The employee did not deny these facts but was unable to convince a judge that the owner and the employer should be responsible for the injuries.

At mediation, the lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to convince the insurance companies that their respective insureds not only had insurance coverage for these incidents, but the insurance companies’ failure to promptly pay the insurance policy proceeds was bad faith. Accordingly, this case was resolved shortly after mediation.

Confidential Wrongful Death Settlement for Minor, Killed in a Car Crash

A 17 year old boy was killed after he was served drinks at a local bar.  The bar claimed that the boy had a fake ID and should not be able to collect for his own negligence.  Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP was able to prove that the bouncer knew or should have known that the boy was a teenager and should not have permitted him in the bar or permitted alcohol to be served.

Confidential Settlement for Victim of Rape at Jamaican Hotel

A husband and wife were vacationing in a Jamaica all inclusive hotel.  One night the wife decided to take a walk on the beach when she was accosted by two men, both of whom wore uniforms from the hotel.  The lawyers at Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP were able to bring and keep this suit in a Florida Court and eventually the case was resolved to the satisfaction of our client.

Confidential Settlement in Medical Malpractice Action for Negligence during Surgical Procedure

Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP represented a woman who had her bowel nicked during a routine surgery.  Unfortunately, this woman’s doctors did not diagnose a disease called peritonitis which is a direct result of a nicked bowel, which caused our client to undergo numerous surgeries to repair her organs and intestines.  We were fortunate to ensure that the client will have all of her future medical bills paid as well as ensuring that she will have sufficient monies to take care of her in case she can no longer work.

Confidential Settlement for a DUI Manslaughter/Wrongful Death Case Against a Racecar Driver

One early morning in January of 2012, an intoxicated racecar driver, who was out socializing with friends in South Beach, was driving north on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.  The victim, who had just gotten off of work, was on the sidewalk loading his bicycle into the back of a car parked in a loading zone.  The driver suddenly lost control of his SUV, jumped the curb onto the sidewalk, struck and instantly killed the victim.  The driver, an underage drinker, was charged criminally with DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide.  Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP brought a wrongful death action against the driver on behalf of the decedent’s Personal Representative and the Estate.