Today, a Shelby County, Tennessee probate judge ended a conservatorship agreement between former NFL player Michael Oher and a Memphis couple, Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. The agreement had been in place since 2004, when Oher was 18 years old and living with the Tuohys as he was being recruited by colleges as a star high school football player.
The conservatorship agreement gave the Tuohys legal control over Oher’s finances and personal life. Oher has said that he signed the agreement because he trusted the Tuohys and believed that they were acting in his best interests.
However, in February 2023, Oher filed a lawsuit to end the conservatorship. He alleged that the Tuohys had lied to him about the terms of the agreement and that they had used their control over his finances to benefit themselves.
In her ruling, the probate judge found that Oher was competent to manage his own affairs and that the conservatorship was no longer necessary. She also found that the Tuohys had breached their fiduciary duty to Oher by failing to act in his best interests.
Background on Michael Oher
Michael Oher was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1986. He had a difficult childhood, and he was often homeless. In high school, Oher was taken in by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a wealthy white couple. The Tuohys helped Oher to get into college and to eventually pursue a career in the NFL.
Oher’s story was told in the 2009 book “The Blind Side” by Michael Lewis and the 2009 film of the same name. The film was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to make Oher a household name.
Oher played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2009 to 2013 and won a Super Bowl with the team in 2012. He also played for the Carolina Panthers and the Tennessee Titans. Oher retired from the NFL in 2017.
Background on the Conservatorship
Oher signed the conservatorship agreement with the Tuohys in 2004 when he was 18 years old. Under the terms of the agreement, the Tuohys were given legal control over Oher’s finances and personal life. This included the power to make decisions about Oher’s medical care, education, and employment.
Oher has said that he signed the agreement because he trusted the Tuohys and believed that they were acting in his best interests. However, in February 2023, Oher filed a lawsuit to end the conservatorship. He alleged that the Tuohys had lied to him about the terms of the agreement and that they had used their control over his finances to benefit themselves.
In his lawsuit, Oher alleged that the Tuohys had misrepresented the terms of the conservatorship agreement to him. He said that the Tuohys told him that the agreement would only be in place for a few years and that it would help him to get into college and to pursue a career in the NFL. However, Oher said that he later learned that the agreement was permanent and that it gave the Tuohys complete control over his life and finances.
Oher’s lawyers argued that the conservatorship was no longer necessary or appropriate. They said that Oher is a grown man who is capable of managing his own affairs.
The Tuohys denied Oher’s accusations. They said that they acted in his best interests and that they helped him to achieve success.
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The Judge’s Ruling
Today, the Shelby County probate judge Kathleen Gomes said she is ending the conservatorship agreement between Oher and the Tuohys. In her ruling, the judge found that Oher was competent to manage his own affairs and that the conservatorship was no longer necessary. She also found that the Tuohys had breached their fiduciary duty to Oher by failing to act in his best interests.
According to AP News, Gomes said she was disturbed that such an agreement was ever reached. She said she had never seen in her 43-year career a conservatorship agreement reached with someone who was not disabled.
“I cannot believe it got done,” she said.
Oher and Tuohys listened in by video conference call but did not speak. Lawyers for both parties had agreed that the agreement should end, but the case will continue to address Oher’s claims. Gomes said it should have ended long ago.
The ending of the conservatorship is a significant victory for Oher. It gives him control over his own life and finances for the first time in over a decade. It also sends a message that conservatorships should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary.
In addition to his victory in court, Oher also has some exciting news to share on the professional front. On August 8th, he released a new book called “When Your Back’s Against the Wall.” In the book, Oher shares his personal story of overcoming adversity and achieving his dreams. He also offers advice and encouragement to readers who are facing their own challenges.
Oher’s new book is a testament to his resilience and his determination to succeed. It is also a reminder that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. To purchase a copy of his book visit: https://www.amazon.com/When-Your-Backs-Against-Wall/dp/0593330927