Agreement unlikely in Schiavo battle


Published: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 28, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.

TAMPA - While the two sides in the Terri Schiavo case have engaged in a bitter family court battle drawing international attention, all along they have been quietly exchanging offers of a settlement.

But as the court case reaches a critical turning point in coming weeks, there seems to be little consensus in the life-or-death struggle over the fate of a 41-year-old woman who has suffered such severe brain damage she must be fed through a tube to survive.

Attorneys said in interviews this week there is such distrust and so many sticking points between Michael Schiavo and his in-laws, Bob and Mary Schindler, an agreement is unlikely.

"It's been made very clear to me by the Schindler attorneys that there is no possible settlement that the parents would agree to that might result in Terri's death," said George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney.

The Schindlers have said their son-in-law only sought to end his wife's life when he stood inherit hundreds of thousands of dollars from her medical trust fund. They have offered to give him whatever money remains if he were to walk away.

"The Schindlers have offered to give Michael all the money, any rights to make any money," said Barbara Weller, the Schindler's attorney. "They offered to give him everything and they would pay all the costs of her rehabilitation and her care - even if he wanted to stay married to her and inherit everything."

But Michael Schiavo's attorney said the legal fight is not about money, but about Michael Schiavo's vows to his wife to carry out her wishes.

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