Maine court rules for doctor’s estate

Posted Sept. 29, 2009, at 11:23 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Maine judge has awarded nearly $7 million in damages to a former doctor’s estate, ruling that a German couple intimidated and defrauded her in order to gain control of her money.

Franklin County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy ruled Friday in the two-year-old case of Dr. Margarete “Gretl” Hoch, who died in her native Germany last year after a four-decade practice in Franklin County. She was 84.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston says Hoch was staying in a spa owned by John and Gudrun Stifel of Meinhard, Germany, during the last two years of her life. The judge said in her ruling that during that time, Hoch was prevented from having contact with her closest friends and family, and was manipulated and intimidated so the Stifels could gain control of her money.

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