A Massachusetts judge has ruled that the more than $178,000 stashed inside a safe found in an empty lot belongs to the state.
The 2,000-pound safe was dumped in Lawrence, Mass., in November 2008 by a tow truck driver. The driver had hauled it away from a shoe store once owned by Sally Daher, who died in 2001. The store's new tenant wanted it removed because he thought it might attract burglars.
A judge ruled the safe's contents belong to the state's Division of Medical Assistance for bills Daher incurred while in a nursing facility for five years prior to her death. State law allows for health care costs to be recouped from a person's estate.
One of Daher's children tells The Eagle-Tribune (http://bit.ly/uiGlqA) he's "ecstatic" the money will settle his mother's debt.
Information from: Eagle Tribune, http://www.eagletribune.com