NYC doorman claims late resident promised him third of estate

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The doorman of a Manhattan building says a long-time resident promised to leave him a third of his estate after the employee helped him into his old age, new court papers show.

Jose Rafael Padilla — the morning doorman at Midtown East’s 14 Sutton Place — says he’d known James Clayton Larmett, 69, and his wife Linda ever since he helped them move into the building 28 years ago, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Wednesday.

The 62-year-old porter “became close” with the couple over the course of nearly three decades knowing them. Padilla took care of Larmett’s pets, “which had been the prime object of [Larmett’s] affection,” the filing claims.

Larmett loved pets so much that he “provided for pet focused charities in his will,” the suit says.

And before the 69-year-old wife passed away in 2016, Padilla promised her that he’d take care of her husband, the court papers say.

“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.”

Larmett’s health deteriorated after his wife’s passing and Padilla tended to him daily, even sleeping at his apartment until a health aid was hired, the court documents claim.

Then on May 1, 2020, Larmett told Padilla, “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,” the filing claims.

As Larmett’s health continued to get worse, “I would spend more of my time off from work assisting him,” Padilla’s suit says.

Then, Larmett upped the amount Jan. 15, telling Padilla he would change his will to leave the doorman a third of his estate, the court documents say.

“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.

Padilla filed a claim for the amount with the executor of Larmett’s estate on July 26, which the executor rejected a few weeks later, the suit alleges.

Padilla is asking a judge to determine the full value of Larmett’s estate and award him the amount the alleged promised amount.

An executor for the estate declined to comment.

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