Judge: $178,000 in abandoned safe belongs to Mass.

AP News
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Posted: Dec 27, 2011 10:33 AM
Judge: $178,000 in abandoned safe belongs to Mass.

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.

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Information from: Eagle Tribune, http://www.eagletribune.com