The Purple Suitcase Dispute – A Warning on Cost Implications of Disputing Over an Item with no Monetary Value – Judith Andersson V Diane Ward

A court case worth more than its contents, but how did it get that far?

Judith Andersson was the daughter of Frieda Ward, who owned an archive of photographs and papers relating to the family’s history as founders of the iconic American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.

When Frieda died the archive, which had been stored in a purple suitcase, was passed to Judith’s brother, Tim Ward. The agreement was that all three of Frieda’s children would own it, with it passing from sibling to sibling upon each of their deaths. After Tim’s death, a legal battle ensued between Judith and Tim’s widow Diane, over Judith’s right to the suitcase and enclosed archive.

Ultimately, the judge ruled that the archive had been held on trust by Tim for the benefit of all three siblings and that it ought to be possessed by Judith for the remainder of her life before returning to Diane to join the rest of Tim’s estate.

Interestingly, Diane was ordered to pay Judith’s costs as well as her own, amounting to a total of £70,600, despite the case itself concerning nothing of monetary value.

A link to a report in the Daily Mail can be found below:-