By: Michael L. Wright
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Ohio Wrongful Death Lawsuit States Woman Made More Than 20 Complaints About Neighbors Dangerous Dogs
The estate of a Klonda Richey, a woman mauled to death by a dog in February, 2014 has filed a wrongful death suit against Montgomery County officials in Dayton, Ohio. According to court documents, the suit names as defendants Montgomery County Animal Resource Center (ARC), the Montgomery County Commissioners, ARC director/Montgomery County Dog Warden Mark Kumpf, and a few other unnamed county officials. This suit is in addition to another wrongful death suit filed against the woman’s neighbors, whose mixed mastiff dogs killed Richey.
The Ohio wrongful death lawsuit was filed in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court by Richey’s sister-in-law. According to the court documents, the suit claims that Richey took eight causes of action. The Dayton Daily News states the lawsuit seeks monetary damages, punitive damages, funeral and burial expenses, court costs, attorneys’ fees, and declaratory and injunctive relief in the amount of $25.000. The suit also seeks a trial by jury.
The claim further states that Richey made multiple complaints about the dogs, stating she was fearing for her life. The suit claims that, “defendants did nothing and Ms. Richey was killed.” The suit claims that Richey called 911 about the animals 16 times, filed a dozen reports with the ARC, and even petitioned for a civil protection order from her neighbors in 2012. “Knowing full well the lengths Ms. Richey had undertaken to seek protection, defendants failed to remove the dogs from the premises or otherwise provide for other relief of Ms. Richey’s concerns, culminating in Ms. Richey’s untimely and brutal death,” the suit alleges. The suit continues to berate the defendants for not taking serious action in support of Richey’s pleas. According to court documents, the suit claims that the defendants’ “decision to take no action on any of her complaints and utter disregard for their statutory duties and Ms. Richey’s safety were willful, wanton, reckless and malicious.”
This is the second lawsuit filed by the estate of Richey. In 2014, Richey’s family filed a suit against her former neighbors and the owners of the dogs that killed Richey. The suit against the neighbors is set to go to trial in August, 2015.
According to Dayton Daily News, the neighbors were not indicted of any felonies after the incidenet, but in April, the neighbors will face a Municipal Court trial for two misdemeanor charges for failing to control the dogs. The highest penalty for this misdemeanor is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine each.
Dayton Daily News reported in February that Richey’s body was not found for several hours after she was fatally mauled by the dogs. Police responded to a call after a passerby reported seeing a naked body in the snow the next morning. When police arrived on the scene, the dogs charged the police, who fatally shot the animals.
As of February 2015, no trial date has been set for the suit against the county.
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