Archive for August, 2009

Family Sues Foster Home Over Woman’s Death

August 31, 2009

Relatives of a 63-year-old Rochester woman who died three years ago have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a foster care facility for the elderly.

The lawsuit alleges that staff at the Rehoboth Disabled & Elderly Foster Care in Rochester failed to make sure Cletus Ilene Sedlacek was on 24-hour oxygen the morning of Aug. 7, 2006, as required.

She was found at 9:41 a.m. that day, lying face down in the yard. She died seven days later at Saint Marys Hospital.

Her daughter, Veronica Lynn Mahoney, who is trustee for the heirs, has filed the civil lawsuit against the facility and its owners, DeAnn and Armin Schrimpf of Oronoco and DeAnn Schrimpf’s daughter, Amanda Beery.

Attorney claims

The multi-count complaint alleges negligence, wrongful death, negligent training and supervision of staff, medical malpractice and fraud.

Mark Solheim of St. Paul, attorney for the defendants, said Minnesota and federal law prohibits him from disclosing information related to Sedlacek’s medical condition and her residency at the group home.

“But I can tell you the allegations that have been alleged against my clients will be vigorously defended. We do not believe my client deviated from the standard of care,” he said. “We believe the plaintiffs claim damages that are grossly overstated.”

Full Article and Source:
Family Sues Foster Home Over Woman’s Death

Stealing From Mom and Dad in Oregon

August 31, 2009

Ask Clara Philpot how she’s doing, and she’ll answer with a beaming smile and a hearty “Fantastic.” Ask the 87-year-old who is president or the name of the dog napping in her lap and she can’t say.

Philpot, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2002, also can’t explain how or why she borrowed almost $1 million to finance a luxury home in Sherwood and immediately deeded half to Gayla and Jeff Ross, a daughter and son-in-law who took care of her.

After looking at the evidence, however, a Clackamas County jury took less than two hours to find Gayla Ross guilty of aggravated theft and first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Ross now faces prison. She will be sentenced Sept. 8 along with her husband, Jeff Ross, a former Washington County sheriff’s deputy who was convicted of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

Philpot’s net worth now is zero — she gets by on Social Security — and she could soon be homeless. The debt on the Molalla house she and her husband bought 43 years ago, and once owned free and clear, now exceeds the property’s value, and she hasn’t made a mortgage payment for two years.

Three years ago, Clara Philpot appeared to have the resources to comfortably live out her days at her Molalla home, cared for by her children and other loved ones.

Then Gayla Ross took command.

“It took Gayla less two months to squander a lifetime of work,” said Chris Farley, a court-appointed guardian who now manages the details of Philpot’s foggy life.

Full Article and Source:
Stealing From Mom and Dad in Oregon

Audit Says Funding Misused

August 31, 2009

Money earmarked for legal services for children used to pay court master, Pa. draft report says.

The previous Luzerne County court administration used state funding that was earmarked for one purpose to funnel more pay to an employee, despite two warnings that the practice wasn’t allowed, according to a draft audit obtained by The Times Leader.

The funding was supposed to cover attorney representation for children facing removal from their homes due to abuse and neglect – officially called “guardian ad litem” services.

Instead, the administration used the state’s guardian funding to pay Orphan’s Court worker Michael Shucosky, also an attorney, more than $200,000 for additional work as a court master. A master presides over some court actions in place of a judge.

Full Article and Source:
Audit Says Funding Misused

See also:
Plea Agreement Rejected

Judges Plead Guilty

Dying Woman Recovers, Says Relatives "Robbed Me Blind"

August 30, 2009

Shortly after two women gained power of attorney from a dying 83-year-old relative, they took all of her possessions and sold her house of 56 years, police said.

The pair pocketed the $235,000 from the house sale and cleaned out the elderly woman’s bank accounts and savings, sharing the money among themselves and family members, police and prosecutors say. They also arranged and pre-paid for her funeral.

However, Evelyn Roth made an amazing recovery and had no idea what her relatives were up to.

Now the two suspects, Roth’s cousin Virginia Ann Kuehn, 66, and her niece Kathleen Sue Jingling, 53, face a 35-count felony indictment charging them with first-degree criminal mistreatment, aggravated theft and first-degree theft. They’ve pleaded not guilty.

Roth, a sprightly white-haired woman with a ready laugh and remarkable memory, showed up at Multnomah County Circuit Court for her relatives’ arraignment this week. Portland Officer Deanna Wesson, who investigates elder abuse, wheeled Roth up to the judge so she could explain what happened.

“They robbed me blind,” Roth said. “Everything was for money, just to get money, money, money. That’s not the way it should be.”

Roth said she pursued criminal charges because she’s lost her savings and all her possessions to relatives who betrayed her trust. “I think they need to be taught a lesson. … I feel like I helped raise Virginia. That’s why it hurts so bad.”

Full Article and Source:
Dying Woman Recovers, Says Relatives “Robbed Me Blind”

Afraid and Lonely

August 30, 2009

Frank and I have been best friends, lovers and companions for the past eleven years. We did not marry since we were both independent and things worked so well the way they were. We talked several times during the day, and would get together in the evening. Usually Frank would cook for me. I am a piano teacher and had fifty-plus students so it was wonderful to go to his house after teaching, enjoy a great meal and watch a movie. On the weekends we would do many things together. We traveled to Alaska, Mexico several times, to Las Vegas, New Orleans and many other places. We had a wonderful loving relationship.

Recently Frank had been having some health problems. He had trouble walking due to neuropathy and back aches. He did experience a couple of falls, but not serious ones. I took him to the doctor for check-ups, CAT and PET scans. I made sure that we did whatever the doctor ordered. It concerned me that I was seeing the beginning of short term memory loss. The doctor prescribed Aricept for him in May. He suddenly became more apathetic and passive.

Our life of togetherness came to a screeching halt on June 4, 2009 when his two estranged nieces showed up at his door. Frank had not talked to them for three of the past four years because of how they had treated their own mother (his sister)on her deathbed. Frank told me that they wanted her to change her will and leave less to charity and more to them. The nieces came from out of state with a plan. The first thing they wanted to see was Frank’s will. He had redone it after seeing their greed and had left them out completely. I held the durable power of attorney, and was first trustee, but had never touched any of his accounts nor used my DPoA.

They took Frank to court to be declared incapacitated. On June 11 an emergency temporary guardian was assigned. I feel that they did this to have his last living trust declared null. They were unsuccessful in this, but they were successful in forcing him immediately from his home and placed in a grungy “retirement” home. One niece took our dog, Snoopy, and the other took an expensive oil painting from the wall. She is supposed to send the painting back for appraisal.

On July 27, 2009 Frank was declared incapacitated. The guardian became permanent. She took over all Frank’s assets not in the trust. Frank is afraid and lonely. It seems that there is nothing to be done to change his situation. My lawyers told me that if we had been married, this never could have happened. I was so naive before. I would like to help spread the word so perhaps together we can bring about change in our courts.

Frank Luce

Father of Terri Schiavo Dead at 71

August 30, 2009

Robert Schindler Sr., whose years-long fight to keep his daughter Terri Schiavo alive made worldwide headlines, died today.

He was 71.

In a statement, Schindler’s family said the Philadelphia native died of heart failure at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg.

“He’d been dealing with health problems since Terri’s death,” said Schindler’s son, Bobby.

Terri Schiavo, then 26, suffered heart failure in 1990, causing the brain damage that left her in what doctors described as a persistent vegetative state.

Her husband, Michael, sought court permission to have her feeding tube removed. But the Schindlers fought to gain custody of their daughter.

In 2005, the fight reached the U.S. Congress and then-President George W. Bush, who signed a law aimed at keeping Schiavo alive.

Schiavo died March 31, 2005, two weeks after her feeding tube was removed. She was cremated and buried in Pennsylvania in accordance with her husband’s wishes.

Her parents and their two surviving children founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to support families facing similar fights regarding the rights of disabled people.

Funeral services will be held in Philadelphia, although details have not been announced.

Memorial donations may be made to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, 5562 Central Ave., Suite 2, St. Petersburg FL 33707.

Full Article and Source:
Father of Terri Schiavo Dead at 71

See also:
Family’s Statement on Passing of Father of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler Sr.

Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

August 29, 2009

They’re not criminals. They’ve broken no laws. But they’re being held against their will by the State of Texas. Why? It’s a tragic story about what can happen when you are alone in the world and lose control of your rights, your money, and your ability to complain.

Jean and Michael Kidd never imagined their retirement would play out like this. “I feel like I am not in America,” said Michael Kidd. “I can’t believe I have been hi-jacked off the street, virtually from the hospital, and imprisoned,” Kidd told FOX 4.

Michael Kidd and his wife Jean have been living out of a tiny room for months. They have lost control of their money, their home, even their car. They say they’ve been robbed of their dignity and their voice. And who do they say is responsible? The State of Texas.

“It is a shock to our system,” says Kidd. “We are still kind of in a state of shock,” Kidd told Reporter Becky Oliver.

Michael Kidd worked as an engineer at KDFW for 23 years. He retired in 2001 with a pension, retirement account, and social security. Last month, he called the station for help. The Kidds have no children or relatives nearby. In November Michael fell and broke his hip. He was taken to a Plano hospital and into surgery. After a few days, the hospital called the state Adult Protective Services to report Jean had been in the waiting room for days and wasn’t eating. What happened next is a complicated, legal tale told in hundreds of pages of documents filed with the Collin County Probate Court.

Caseworkers paint a picture of two incompetent old people, age 67 and 70, suffering from dementia. Reports say the Kidds have mismanaged their finances and used poor judgment, that Michael is verbally abusive and even attempted to assault Jean. Michael says Jean has memory trouble but denies everything else. A judge determined the Kidds were incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. The state took over the Kidds lives, sent them to the Countryside Nursing Home in Pilot Point, and is now burning through their money to pay for their care.

“You have no idea how much money you have?” Oliver asked Michael Kidd. “None at all,” Kidd responded. “I know what my income was and I know it was more than enough to take care of my bills. Now, I am deteriorating instead of getting better,” Kidd continued.

The monthly tab for a couple at Countryside is about seven thousand dollars. Court records show, for five months’ care, the guardian paid eleven thousand dollars out of the Kidds’ accounts. The state’s Medicaid program kicks in the rest. “I could be at the Hilton for this kind of money,” Kidd told Oliver.

Full Article and Source:

Elderly Couple Forced Into State Custody

Referee: Woman Can Visit Mom in Hospice

August 28, 2009

Nursing home says daughter’s visits are disruptive. But the daughter says she’s “scared for my mother’s life.”

A probate court referee ordered a St. Paul nursing home to allow the daughter of an ailing woman to visit her mother in hospice care, despite the nursing home’s claim that the daughter’s conduct is “severely detrimental” to Edna Wigen’s health and “disrupts the orderly and safe operation” of the facility.

Judy Luzaich, 66, of Stillwater, and two of her mother’s longtime friends were barred from St. Mary’s Home in St. Paul’s Highland Park this year after complaining that the 91-year-old woman was receiving substandard care.

St. Paul police and officials from the state Department of Health are investigating allegations of suspicious injuries to Wigen’s head, arms and legs that were photographed by her longtime friends Patty and Al Noren. Nursing home officials deny that Wigen was mistreated, saying everything done was necessary and appropriate.

Ramsey County District Court Referee Dean Maus said that Luzaich should be allowed to visit her mother three times in the next week but he didn’t address future visits, leaving that to a state judge who is expected to conduct a hearing on the dispute sometime next month.

Full Article and Source:
<a href="”>Referee: Woman Can Visit Mom in Hospice

No Social Services Investigation for Nadya Suleman

August 28, 2009

A California appeals court has ruled that octuplets mom Nadya Suleman will not face an investigation by Child Protective Services.

Suleman’s attorney Jeff Czech says the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday to halt the investigation that was ordered by an Orange County Superior Court probate judge. The appeals court also ruled earlier this month that Suleman would not have to have a court-appointed guardian to oversee her children’s finances.

Paul Peterson, an advocate for the fair treatment of children in show business, had filed a petition requesting the appointment of an independent guardian. Suleman then filed a motion challenging his right to file the petition.

Czech says Suleman is relieved over the ruling.

No Social Services Investigation for Nadya Suleman

See also:
Suleman Loses Court Battle

Suleman’s Hearing

A Day After Fox Show, Octuplet’s Mom Nadya Suleman in Court Over Money

Former Caretaker Sentenced for Thefts

August 28, 2009

A Grand Rapids woman authorities say stole thousands of dollars from at-risk adults and used it to gamble will spend a year in jail — twice the prosecutor’s recommended sentence.

Myrna M. Trickey, 70, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months in jail with work release and five years probation and ordered to pay $47,741.36 in restitution plus other costs and supervision fees for three counts of felony theft.

Clark County Circuit Court Judge Jon Counsell, acting as a substitute judge in the Wood County case, also ordered Trickey to write apologies to her victims, undergo counseling and prepare a detailed financial disclosure statement for the past 42 months.

A joint recommendation from Trickey’s attorney, Amy Boettcher, and the Wood County district attorney’s office suggested a sentence of six months in jail in addition to the probation.

“It’s only by the skin of your teeth that you’re not ending up in prison today,” Counsell told Trickey during the sentencing. “If you don’t follow through and do what you’re supposed to do, I fully expect your probation to be revoked, and I will send you to prison for a long time.”

According to Wood County Circuit Court documents:
Trickey, who operated a business called Protective Care in Grand Rapids, was the court-appointed guardian for adults described as at-risk — defined by state law as having a condition that substantially impairs them. Her responsibilities included managing their money and handling their financial affairs.

During a period of more than four years, she wrote 126 checks on the accounts of three adults in her care, totaling $22,500 and used the money for herself. The checks exceeded the amount Trickey was allowed to take from the accounts for guardian fees.

On June 26, the court ruled against Trickey in a civil case, granting a judgment of $14,752 plus other costs, to one of her victims. A $536.70 judgment was issued July 6 for those costs. She pleaded guilty to all three criminal counts June 27, and 17 uncharged misdemeanor counts of theft were read into the record.

Full Article and Source:
Former Caretaker Sentenced for Thefts

See also:
Protective Care