Man Adopts Girlfriend, Could Protect him in Wrongful Death Suit
Polo Club Palm Beach Founder John Goodman, 48, adopted his 42 year old girlfriend, Heather Laruso to protect his assets in a wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the parents of Scott Patrick Wilson who was killed by Goodman when he ran stop sign in 2010.
Goodman previously set up a trust fund for his two minor children. If Scott Wilson's parents win the case, they wouldn't be able to gain any money from that trust fund. So Goodman got this bright idea to "adopt" his long time partner, Laruso, and add her to the trust fund, saving more of his assets - for himself.
However, Goodman's attorney, Dan Bachi says the adoption is to guarantee his biological children's future and even denies it was spurred by the lawsuit. With that being said, another Florida lawyer says Goodman is abusing the child adoption laws, saying that the laws were put in place to create parent-child relationships.
Although Goodman adopted Laruso to protect his money, another court date later could rule that Laruso isn't entitled to the assets.
Sobriety tests from the night Goodman hit Wilson in the intersection showed that Goodman had a blood alcohol content two times the legal limit. He faces charges against vehicular homicide brought up by Wilson's parents. He could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison. The trial begins March 27.