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Disabled Son’s Attack on Caregiving Mom puts Courts at Odds

In July 2008, Joshua Gartland, 33, moved back into his mother’s Westmoreland County home. He had run away at age 15, started using drugs a year later and struggled with addiction from then on. As a result, he had many medical problems, and in 2007 one of his legs had to be amputated because of necrotizing fasciitis — a flesh-eating bacterial infection — and he required dialysis for kidney failure.

His mother, Laura O’Rourke, then-59, of North Huntingdon, agreed to allow him to move back into her home and become his paid caregiver as part of an arrangement through Three Rivers Center for Independent Living.

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