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GannettUSA Today

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Inherently wrong

Some court rulings make you want to cry out, "But it's not right!'' The decision Tuesday in Hudson County that an absentee father can share in the inheritance of his late daughter is one of those times. This guy will get almost $400,000 from his 22-year-old daughter's estate, his share of what remains from a $2.5 million medical malpractice settlement from 1989. The suit was filed on behalf of the girl, who was born with disabilities from a spinal cord injury during birth. The money was to pay for her care.

But this father was not part of his daughter's life. He did not pay child support. He says he tried to spend more time with her, but was rebuffed by her mother. (They were not married.) Is there any wonder?

The judge said he would have "broken ground'' to deny this man the same rights as other fathers in New Jersey to collect an inheritance from a child. Sorry, but this was the case to do just that. The man did nothing for his daughter during her life. He surely doesn't deserve anything from her in death.

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