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Safety, Resources Secured for Victim of Elder Financial Abuse

When Odella Harrison’s daughters discovered a neighbor had added his name to the title of their 88-year-old mother’s home and drained her bank accounts of thousands of dollars, they sought Bet Tzedek’s help. The case was placed with pro bono partner Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. Because Mrs. Harrison suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s and cannot speak for herself, Katten associates Tami K. Sims and Nicholas M. Gross spent more than 1,000 hours piecing together a clear and convincing paper trail of the abuse. Thanks to their efforts, the jury awarded Mrs. Harrison $57,944 in compensatory damages and $95,000 in punitive damages. “I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude and because of them my mother will have the resources to take care of herself for as long as she lives,” Karen Williams, Harrison’s daughter, told the Daily Journal.

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Bet Tzedek is an affiliated agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.