A Manhattan doorman at an upscale apartment building on the Upper East Side is suing a former resident’s estate, claiming the man promised him a third of his savings in thanks for the doorman’s care over 28 years.
According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Jose Rafael Padilla, the morning doorman at Midtown East’s tony 14 Sutton Place, said he was promised a portion of James Clayton Larmett’s estate after caring for him for 28 years. The allocation was not made in Larmett’s will, however.
The 62-year-old met Larmett, 69, and his wife, Linda, after helping them move into the building in 1993, and claims the three ‘became close’ throughout the last three decades.
Padilla often cared for Larmett’s pet cats, ‘which had been the prime object of (Larmett’s) affection,’ the suit states.
The longtime Manhattan doorman alleges that Larmett loved his pets so much that he ‘provided for pet focused charities in his will.’
Jose Rafael Padilla, the morning doorman at Midtown East’s tony 14 Sutton Place (pictured) says he was promised a portion of James Larmett’s estate after caring for him for 28 years
Larmett died in February, while his wife died in 2016.
However, before Linda Larmett, 69, died, Padilla claims he promised her he would continue caring for her husband, according to court filings.
‘Sometime before [Linda] died she had expressed concern regarding the care of her husband and she asked me to look after him once she [was] no longer there,’ the suit alleges.
‘I promised her I would and, indeed, Mr. Larmett entrusted me with his health care proxy and with a power of attorney to enable me to further help him with his needs.’
After her death, Larmett’s own health began to fail, and Padilla claims that he provided daily care for the man, even sleeping at Larmett’s apartment until a home health aide was hired.
According to Padilla’s lawsuit, Larmett told Padilla on May 1, 2020 ‘that in consideration for all the help I had given him over the past twenty-eight years he would leave me one-fourth of his estate.’
‘I would spend more of my time off from work assisting him’ as Larmett’s health continued to deteriorate, the lawsuit states
Then, on January 15, just weeks before his passing, Larmett offered to increase the amount, allegedly telling Padilla that he would adjust the will to leave the doorman a third of his estate.
‘Larmett promised to change his will and leave me one-third of his estate in consideration of all the years I spent helping him during my off hours from work,’ the suit claims.
Pictured: Court filings by Padilla requesting a judge to determine the amount of Larmett’s estate and award him the portion he claims Larmett had promised him
Following Larmett’s death on February 15, Padilla filed a claim July 26 requesting the portion of his estate.
The estate’s executor, listed in court filings as Charles A. Yamarone of Sherman Oaks, California, rejected Padilla’s claim just weeks after he filed it, the lawsuit claims.
Padilla’s lawsuit is requesting a judge assess the value of Larmett’s estate before awarding him the amount he claims Larmett promised him.
A lawyer for the estate’s executor, Richard J. Miller, told the New York Post that Larmett had no children and ultimately left his assets to three animal charities.
Larmett and his wife had been involved with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to online records.
‘The will speaks for itself,’ Miller told the Post.
‘And while we cannot know for certain the private conversations that Mr. Larmett may have had during his lifetime, we know for certain what his last wishes were that were conveyed in his will — which directs the entirety of his estate to three animal rescue centers.’
‘We are confident that the court is going to see through this frivolous claim and honor Mr. Larmett’s wishes.’