Michael Schiavo Is Being Charged With Perjured Testimony and Fraud On the Court
In the past year, attention has been focused on a dispute regarding Terris neurological condition. In October 2001, The Appellate Court demonstrated their concern by ordering a process in which a battery of doctors will make a determination whether or not Terri is in the condition that she was characterized in her feeding removal trial. That procedure is underway and will reach a conclusion in October 2002 in Judge Greer's courtroom.
Receiving little attention is an April 2001 lawsuit in which Michael Schiavo has been charged with numerous counts of wrongful acts. At the time the suit was filed, Terri had been without food and nutrition for 48 hours. Although minimized by Judge Greer, the charges in the lawsuit compelled Civil Court Judge Quesada to conduct an emergency hearing on April 26, 2001. In that hearing, Judge Quesada recognized the inconsistency of Michael Schiavos original 2000 trial testimony and ordered Terris feeding restored.
The civil suit presented to Judge Quesada has since been amended and a portion pertaining to probate matters has been reassigned to Judge Greers court. However, the major segment of the lawsuit is presently under consideration in Judge Schaefers Civil Court.
The fruition of the suit has the potential of Michael Schiavo facing a civil court jury in a reenactment of Terris original trial that took place in Judge Greers probate courtroom in January 2000. Michael Schiavo will be on trial defending numerous charges amongst which include a charge that he gave perjured testimony at the January 2000 feeding removal trial and charges of fraud on the court for the specific purpose of killing Terri so he can inherit her money as her surviving spouse.
The ramifications of a civil court jury trial could have serious implications on many of the "players" associated with Terris January 2000 feeding removal trial. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Schiavos attorneys have been working feverously for the past year to have the civil suit dismissed. There was a court hearing on this matter as recently as April 5, 2002 and we anticipate additional hearings will be conducted in the oncoming months.
Subsequent to the April 2001 filing, an amended Civil Lawsuit was filed on May 7, 2001, charging Michael Schiavo with the following counts and allegations:
- INTENTIONAL CONSPIRACY
- BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
- INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
ALLEGATIONS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS
(The Following is a Partial Listing of the 50+ alleged charges in the Lawsuit)
1. In February 1990, Terri suffered a cardiac arrest that resulted in hypoxic brain damage.
2. In November 1992, in the trial of a medical malpractice action brought on Terri's behalf and styled Barnett Bank Trust Company v. C. Stephen Igel MD, Pinellas County Circuit Case No. 92-939-15, Defendant Schiavo testified that he intended to care for his wife as long as she lived, that he intended to adhere to his wedding vows, that he felt "wonderful" about being married to Terri, and that he intended to learn more about nursing so he could care for his wife for the rest of his life.
3. At the time of this testimony and ever since the time of this testimony, Defendant was and has been and is romantically involved with a series of women not his wife, including a woman with whom he presently resides and to whom he refers as his "fiancée."
4. The malpractice jury awarded the Defendant $640,000 in damages for the loss of consortium of his wife Terri and awarded a net of $l.2 million in damages to Terris guardian of the property.
5. Some eight months later, in July 1993, and despite his professed devotion to his wife, Defendant Schiavo ordered Terris caregivers to withhold antibiotic therapy for treatment of an infection she had developed and, in addition, gave her caregivers a "do not resuscitate" order. These orders became the subject of litigation in the guardianship case, and Defendant Schiavo admitted under oath during his deposition on November 19, 1993, that he had given the aforesaid orders.
6. As a result of the litigation described in the preceding paragraph, Defendant Schiavo withdrew his life-threatening orders to Terris caregivers, and, instead, set forth on a course of medical and physical neglect of Terri that Defendant Schiavo knew and intended would result in Terris mental and physical deterioration, which deterioration has occurred.
7. For approximately the last half of 1992, Defendant Schiavo was dating a woman whom he told on more than one occasion that he had never discussed with his wife her end-of-life wishes and to whom he said that Terri had "ruined his life."
8. According to a report filed in the guardianship proceeding some $718,000 remained in Terris trust account as of July 1998.
9. In 1998, after Terri had suffered significant deterioration at Defendant Schiavos hands, Defendant filed his Petition for Authorization to Discontinue Artificial Life Support for Terri which Petition eventually resulted in a bench trial before Hon. George W. Greer and an Order granting the Petition in February, 2000, which Order became final when the Second District Court of Appeal issued its mandate on April 24, 2001.
10. During the aforesaid bench trial, and despite his statements to his former girlfriend mentioned in Paragraph above, Defendant Schiavo gave perjured testimony that he and Terri, in fact, had discussed her wish to die in the event of her incapacity, which testimony Judge Greer specifically found to be credible in permitting life support to be withdrawn and further testified that he was a devoted and attentive guardian.
11. After all appellate remedies had been exhausted and Terri had received her final feeding, Defendant Schiavo called a local radio talk show on the morning of April 24, 2001 and made certain statements about himself and Terris condition and wishes. These remarks moved his former girlfriend to call another radio station and recount the conversations she and Defendant Schiavo had had in 1992, which are described in Paragraph 10 above,
12. Only then did Plaintiffs learn of those conversations and the former girlfriends identity.
13. Only after an interview with the former girlfriend did Plaintiffs learn that she feared Defendant Schiavo because of his harassing and irrational conduct in stalking her in the mid-1990s that she was too frightened to come forward earlier and participate as a trial witness before Judge Greer.
14. Throughout the period in which Defendant Schiavo has acted as Terris guardian of the person, he has denied Plaintiffs access to the most basic information concerning her medical condition despite a court order to the contrary, has instructed her caregivers to withhold information concerning their daughters medical condition from the Plaintiffs, has allowed only those of whom he approves to visit Terri, including a local radio disc jockey, while disallowing visiting privileges to those of whom he disapproves, including a priest and Terris brother and sister, has failed and refused to provide adequate medical and rehabilitative care to Terri with the end result that Terri has suffered avoidable physical and mental deterioration, which deterioration he now claims as a justification to kill her.
15. Only after this Court enjoined the resumption of Terris feeding did the Plaintiffs learn from a Board-certified neurologist that Terris deterioration could have been avoided.
16. Defendant has engaged in an intentional, knowing, mean-spirited, outrageous, deceptive, and intolerable course of conduct that amounts to perjury, fraud on the court, and malicious indifference to the Plaintiffs for the specific purpose of killing Terri so he can inherit her remaining money as her surviving spouse.
17. Defendant Schiavo has conspired with others, including but not limited to caregivers and attorneys, unknown to the Plaintiffs but whose identities are well known to him, in carryout his schemes as outlined in the foregoing paragraphs, in that he agreed with such parties to engage in a course of conduct designed to deprive Terri of necessary medical and rehabilitative therapy which he had an affirmative duty as her guardian to provide.
18. The Defendant further agreed to callously take advantage of the diminished state of Terris health occasioned by the conduct of himself and the other conspirators to convince the Court to disconnect Terris feeding tube and end her life in order to collect the balance of her funds by inheritance.
19. The Defendant made an overt act in furtherance of said conspiracy in that he did in fact deprive her of necessary medical and rehabilitative care, which had the effect not only of preventing such normal recovery as she may otherwise have enjoyed, but in fact caused her condition to substantially and unnecessarily worsen.
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