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Man's fate regarding need for guardian decided by jury, part two

In our last post we introduced a case in which a jury would decide whether a 72-year-old man needed a guardian to look after his financial affairs. The complaint was raised by the nursing home where the man stayed. After the man was moved to a nursing home to recover from infected leg wounds, he never left. However, the nursing home claimed he was delinquent in making payments to stay at the center.

In New Jersey, it is against the law for a long-term care facility to act as the guardian for one of their residents. Because the nursing would be receiving money from the individual, it would be considered a conflict of interest. For that reason, the nursing home petitioned to have a third-party guardian appointed for the man.

The lawyer representing the man wanted the man's fate to be decided by a jury, rather than by a judge. After deliberating for more than nine hours, the jury finally decided that a guardian should be appointed for the man. They determined that the man is incapacitated, and moving forward all his financial and medical decisions will be made by a guardian.

Although the man was not ill, his behavior was eccentric at times. He held extreme religious beliefs and made unusual decisions regarding what to wear in the cold weather. In his closing statement, the man's lawyer stated that the man lost the rights he once fought to protect during his days in the military.

Source: The Columbian, "Guardianship jury finds man, 72, unable to care for self," Bob Albrecht, 1 April 2011

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