An attorney who was accused of negligence in the guardianship of an 83-year-old woman by the woman's family has been cleared of all allegations by a jury.
A daughter of Nannie McIntosh, Isabella Bennington had filed the civil suit against Tresa Gossett, a Bethel, Ohio attorney who serves as solicitor for the village of Aberdeen, Ohio. The civil case was unrelated to any duties Gossett has with the village.
Bennington alleged in her civil case that Gossett was not only negligent, but had converted some of her mother's property. She filed the suit in August, 2009.
Gossett filed a counter-complaint that the family was abusing a judicial process.
The case went to trial Monday, with Bennington's attorney, James Banks, outlining several specific accusations in his opening statement. Among those accusations, that Gossett did not permit McIntosh's daughters to visit her in the nursing homes where she spent the last several months of her life, that she failed to set up a payment arrangement for McIntosh's supplemental insurance, resulting in its cancellation and that items went missing from the home for which Gossett, as guardian, would have been responsible.
Gossett's attorney, Rick Weil, countered those claims in his opening statements mostly through the use of a time line beginning with a police report of a theft of $36,000 in January, 2007, long before Gossett knew the family. He also played a 911 recording in which one sister accused another of abusing their mother and described other calls placed by McIntosh in which she said she needed assistance with her medication and asked the dispatchers if they would like to buy a quilt.
Those 911 calls prompted protective services to become involved. Weil said probate court recommended an attorney as guardian because the family couldn't agree on a guardian.
Weil said Gossett had more than two decades experience as an attorney and no prior complaints of anything unethical. He described her as the "go-to" person for the court when there is need of a guardian.
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Lawyer Cleared in Negligence Case
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