An Essex County judge has upheld the validity of a health-care proxy for the grandson of an 83-year-old Gloucester man who became gravely ill while under the supervision of SeniorCare, Inc. at the McPherson Park housing complex.
The court action was rooted in SeniorCare's challenge to the right of Vito Loiacono, 38, grandson of Joseph Judd, to obtain Judd's medical records from SeniorCare, a Gloucester-based health services.
The company coordinates health services for, among others, residents of the Gloucester Housing Authority's McPherson Park facility, where Judd resided from 2007 to June 2010.
While SeniorCare has no role in Judd's care at present, it challenged the validity of Loicono's durable power of attorney (DPOA) and healthcare proxy (HCP).
Echoing the finding of a court-appointed "guardian ad litem" requested by SeniorCare in January, Judge Mary Ann Sahagian indicated Loiacono's DPOA was invalid because it had been executed after - although almost simultaneously to — the healthcare proxy, which proffered that Judd, who is illiterate, had dementia, according to court observers.
Technically, that made Judd unable to authorize subsequent legal documents.
But the judge concurred with the appointed guardian that the proxy was valid, and legal experts say should enable Loiacono to obtain the records he has sought from SeniorCare since June.
The guardian, Michelle Azzari, a family law specialist from Saugus, investigated Judd, Loiacono and the case during the past two months.
Judge Sahagian's decision, which the clerk said would not be available in writing for a week, culminated the latest foray in a 10-month long controversy.
At the core of the matter have been Judd's family's allegations that he was not properly treated under SeniorCare's aegis for the anxiety and diabetes that led to his being rushed to Addison Gilbert Hospital last July with a near-fatal glucose level of 671.
Judd is recuperating at Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where Loiacono is employed part-time.
A police investigation requested by Mayor Carolyn Kirk into the family's allegations — which included withholding of medications and undocumented withdrawals from Judd's checking account — found in February that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute SeniorCare personnel for any criminal wrongdoing.
Announcing her rejection of the SeniorCare argument, Judge Sahagian told the company's attorney, Lawrence Varn, "you have no horse in this race," according to court observers.
He has not returned calls regarding the SeniorCare case.
Loiacono said he will pursue obtaining the medical records, and will formally seek guardianship of his grandfather.
"It's just one step at a time," he said.