Michael Oher’s Lawsuit Unveils New Revelations about “The Blind Side
The captivating story of the football player, Michael Oher, which inspired the renowned book “The Blind Side: Evolution of the Game,” followed by a successful Hollywood movie, appeared to be an inspiring tale of triumph against adversity. However, a recent lawsuit filed by Oher has shed light on a different reality behind the curtains. The petition reveals shocking allegations that challenge the authenticity of Oher’s adoption by the Tuohy family, ultimately questioning the financial gains made by the family through the movie.
In the 14-page petition filed by Michael Oher and his counsel in the Shelby County Probate Court, significant allegations are made concerning the adoption process. Contrary to what has been publicly portrayed, the petition claims that the Tuohy family did not legally adopt Oher but obtained conservatorship over him instead. Oher asserts that the family presented him with documents to sign, leading him to believe they were adoption papers. In reality, those papers were a petition for conservatorship, granting the Tuohys the power to act as his guardians and conservators.
According to Oher’s petition, the conservatorship arrangement facilitated the Tuohys’ ability to generate substantial royalties from “The Blind Side” movie while Oher did not receive any financial compensation. These allegations bring into question the authenticity of Oher’s adoption and highlight the potential monetary gains made by the Tuohy family at his expense.
By filing the petition to terminate the conservatorship, Oher is seeking to sever all legal ties to the Tuohy family. This move is driven by the fact that the original Order appointing the Tuohys as conservators did not include an expiration date. Oher contends that the Tuohys failed to comply with the necessary requirements outlined in Tennessee law, such as filing yearly accountings and submitting a “Statement of Fiduciary as to Physical or Mental Condition of the Disabled Person.” He emphasizes that the conservators should have acted in his best interest regarding his name, image, and likeness rights but failed to provide any annual accountings.
Aside from the termination of the conservatorship, Oher is seeking damages due to the ongoing misuse of his name, image, and likeness by the Tuohys. He asserts that their fiduciary duty to him involved acting in his best interest with regards to these assets, which they failed to uphold. Oher furthermore emphasizes the absence of any accounting for his name, image, and likeness assets used by the Tuohys and their children, who collectively received substantial financial benefits while he received no compensation.
In addition to the aforementioned requests, Oher is seeking an injunction that prevents the Tuohys from using his name, image, and likeness. He also seeks an accounting of all sums of money due to him, along with any accrued interest, compensatory and punitive damages determined by the court, and coverage of costs and attorney’s fees.
The Tuohy family will be given an opportunity to respond to the petition through their attorney. As of now, their legal representative has withheld any comments related to the matter. However, it is expected that they will file a response in the coming weeks.
It is important to note that alongside the petition, Oher has initiated the discovery process by serving interrogatories and requests for document production on the Tuohys. These discovery requests aim to obtain relevant information about contractual agreements related to “The Blind Side” book and movie, as well as supporting documentation regarding Oher’s status as their “adoptive son.” The interrogatories directly challenge the Tuohys to clarify their choice to pursue conservatorship instead of formal adoption.
Under the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, the Tuohys have 30 days to respond to both the petition and the discovery requests.
Michael Oher’s petition to terminate the conservatorship sheds light on critical allegations that challenge the circumstances of his adoption by the Tuohy family and the financial gains made through the movie adaptation of his story. As the legal process unfolds, both parties will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will impact the perception of “The Blind Side” and the public’s understanding of Michael Oher’s remarkable journey against all odds.
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