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Elderly Gay Man Forcibly Separated from Dying Partner Awarded Damanges In Settlement

Jim Burroway

July 24th, 2010

The Mercury News reports that Clay Greene, 78-year-old Sonoma County, California man who was forcibly separated from his dying partner and whose house and belongings were sold by social workers, has won a $600,000 settlement from Sonoma County:

Greene accused social workers of denying him hospital visitation rights to see his partner, Harold Scull, despite signed wills, medical declarations and powers of attorney naming each other as spouses. The couple was not married nor registered as domestic partners.

The lawsuit also alleged that after Scull’s death, social workers forced Greene into a nursing home and sold the couple’s property, including art and heirlooms. The county’s lawyer, Gregory Spaulding, denied the discrimination claims but admitted mistakes in selling the couple’s property.

Under California law, property worth $5,000 or less can be sold by officials to cover medical expenses. But the couple’s property brought in more than $25,000 at auction. The Public Guardian’s office has revised its policies, according to Spaulding.

Comments

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Tony P
July 24th, 2010 | LINK

I just bet they revised their policies in a hurry after being hit with a $600,000 judgment against them.

Richard W. Fitch
July 24th, 2010 | LINK

My only question is: Will Greene be somehow able to reclaim the antiques of which he was robbed? The monetary value may not be high but the personal value is priceless.

andrew
July 24th, 2010 | LINK

My question is who was fired, if not why not, and are they liable for civil procedures (commission of criminal activity or gross negligence may not shielded by ones employer, nor by the sovereignty of the county government). In this particular budgetary crisis time, I’d dearly like to see some heads roll on this one.

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