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Tennessee judge ends ‘Blind Side’ family conservatorship, permits lawsuit to proceed.

A Memphis, Tennessee judge on Friday, September 29, ruled in favor of dissolving the conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Memphis family​ that took him in when he was in high school. The ⁢family was the subject ‌of the 2009 blockbuster film “The Blind Side.”

Shelby County Probate Court Judge Kathleen Gomes ⁣on Friday ruled to terminate the agreement that was signed in 2004 that⁢ left the Tuohy’s in charge of Oher’s finances among other decisions prior to his senior year of high school, according to Shelby⁢ County Court Records.

Court⁣ records show she is not dismissing other issues in the ⁤case, such as the ​lawsuit filed by Oher, 37, in August, alleging the family lied to him to ‍get him to sign⁤ papers making them his⁢ conservators rather than ​his adoptive parents—something he said he‍ had only recently become aware of.

In his suit, he requested the conservatorship be terminated, something ​both parties agreed to,⁢ and requested a full‌ accounting of money earned off his‌ name and story. He also requested to be paid⁢ with interest.

Judge Ends Conservatorship

In‌ court on Friday in Memphis, Judge Gomes said she “couldn’t believe [the conservatorship was] done,” in the first place, according ‍to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Tennessee‌ law defines conservatorship as a court removing “the decision-making powers⁢ and duties, whole or in part,” from “a person with a disability ‌who lacks capacity to make decisions in one‌ or more important areas.”

It is often used in the ⁢state as a means to give decision-making duties in ​the case of a medical condition or disability.

Promotional ad for “The Blind Side.” ⁤(Warner Bros. Pictures)

The outlet further stated⁤ Gomes was⁤ “disturbed” that the agreement was ever reached because she ⁣had “never” seen such⁣ an agreement reached with someone who “was not disabled”‍ throughout her​ four-decade career.

The outlet added ⁣that Oher and Tuohys listened in by video conference to the hearing Friday but did not speak. Gomes said the conservatorship should have ended long ago,‌ according to the newspaper.

Lawsuit and “Devastating” Allegations

The Tuohys have said the allegations ⁤made by Oher have been “devastating for the family” even though they have been estranged from Oher for about⁤ a decade, according to The Associated Press.

They also said in a statement ‌the allegations‍ were a “ridiculous shakedown attempt” after being “threatened” by Oher before he⁤ filed the suit.

“I’m gonna preface this by saying that ⁢I love Mike at 16, I love Mike at 37, and I [will] love him at 67,” Sean “SJ” Tuohy Jr., the ⁤biological son of the family, said on ⁣Barstool Radio. “There’s not gonna be any dossier or thing that happens that is going to make me say, ‘Screw that guy.’ That’s not the case.”

The lawsuit‌ alleges the Tuohy’s enriched themselves at the⁣ expense of Oher.

“Michael Oher discovered ⁣this lie to his ⁢chagrin and embarrassment in‌ February of 2023, when he learned that the Conservatorship to which he consented on​ the basis that doing so would make him a member of ‌the Tuohy‌ family, in fact, provided him no⁤ familial relationship with the Tuohys,” he said in the​ lawsuit.

ESPN ‍reported that‌ the Tuohys and their two birth children each earned $225,000 from the film, as well as 2.5 percent of net proceeds.

Sean Tuohy said the conservatorship was ⁣set up to help Oher⁣ get⁢ into ⁣college.

“I sat Michael down and told him, ‘If you’re planning to go to Ole Miss—or even considering Ole Miss—we think you have to be part of the family,” he said after‍ the ⁢lawsuit was​ filed last ⁤month. “This would do that legally. We were so concerned it was on the up-and-up that we made sure the biological mother came to court.”

The lawsuit, which the judge allowed ⁣to continue, ‍is seeking to end the Tuohys’ ability to profit from Oher’s name, story, and likeness, demanding ‍they pay him a share of the profits earned over the years.

Carly Mayberry and The Associated Press contributed to this ⁣report.

‌What is the role and purpose of a conservatorship according to Tennessee law?

Ss. Oher’s lawsuit, ​filed ⁤in August, claims that the family lied to him in order to become his conservators⁤ instead of his adoptive parents. He alleges that⁤ he only⁣ recently‍ discovered this⁣ deception. The lawsuit also seeks a full accounting ⁢of the money‍ earned from his ⁣name and story, as well as payment with interest.

Judge Gomes ruled ⁣in favor of terminating the conservatorship agreement between Oher and the Tuohy family. However, she has not ⁢dismissed other issues in the case, such ‍as the lawsuit filed by‌ Oher. This ruling marks the end of the ​Tuohys’ control over Oher’s ⁤finances and​ decision-making.

Conservatorship is defined by Tennessee law as​ the removal of decision-making powers and duties ​from a person with a disability who lacks capacity in important areas. It is often used ​in cases involving medical conditions or disabilities.

The ⁤Memphis Commercial Appeal ⁢reported that ‌Judge Gomes expressed disbelief that⁤ the conservatorship had ‌ever been put ⁤in place, considering Oher’s lack of disability. This judgment was ⁣made‌ after⁣ Gomes listened to the arguments presented during the hearing, during which Oher and the​ Tuohys attended via video conference but did not speak.

The‌ allegations made by Oher have reportedly had a devastating ‍impact⁤ on the Tuohy family, despite their estrangement from him for the past decade. The ⁢outcome of ‍this legal battle will‍ likely have significant implications⁣ for all parties involved.

In conclusion, a Memphis judge has ruled ‌in favor ‍of dissolving the conservatorship ‌agreement between Michael Oher and the Tuohy family. The process of ending ⁣the conservatorship was initiated ‌by Oher, who also filed a lawsuit alleging deception ‍by the family. This case raises important questions about decision-making powers ⁣and accountability in conservatorship agreements, and its resolution will have lasting effects on all parties⁤ involved.



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