Estate of Takoda Collins sues Montgomery County, employees

The estate of Takoda Collins filed a lawsuit against the county and some Montgomery County Children Service employees alleging that the agency failed to perform their duties and that led to the injuries and death of the 10-year-old boy.

The lawsuit filed in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court says the county didn’t do enough to protect Takoda.

“MCCS employees and/or agents, including but not limited to social workers, caseworkers, and managers, are directed to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect," the lawsuit says. "Based on their investigations, MCCS employees and/or agents are supposed to act under the law and are required to make referrals to family service agencies, create protection plans for at-risk children, and otherwise protect children at risk for abuse and neglect, including but not limited to removal from their homes and placement in a safe environment until family reunification is determined to be safe for the child. Said persons acted intentionally wantonly, willfully, recklessly, negligently, maliciously, and not in good faith in disregard to their duties under the statutory and common law, proximately resulting in the injuries and death of Takoda Collins.”

The exact amount of money being sought in the case is not listed in the lawsuit, but it does say it’s more than $25,000.

Montgomery County and the attorneys for the estate declined to comment Monday when reached by the Dayton Daily News.

Takoda was a 10-year-old boy who authorities found unresponsive at his Kensington Drive home in December. Takoda later died at Children’s Hospital.

Three people are charged in connection to the case, including Takoda’s father, Al-Mutahan McLean, his father’s girlfriend Amanda Hinze and the girlfriend’s sister Jennifer Ebert.

Authorities say Takoda was tortured by his father, including being locked naked in an attic, beaten and emotionally and physically abused. In court records, police say Takoda was forced to stand bent over and cross-legged for long periods of time and received a beating by McLean if he stopped. The records say Takoda ate his own feces and was either forced to drink a lot of water or was held underwater prior to his death.

A Dayton Daily News investigation uncovered that police were called to Takoda’s home multiple times before his death. School employees also told the Dayton Daily News that they made multiple calls to Children Services before Takoda was ultimately pulled from school by his father.

In the lawsuit, the estate argues that “as a direct and proximate result of one or more actions and/or omission of the defendants, jointly and/or severally, Takoda Collins sustained injuries, including conscious pain and suffering, resulting in his death on December 13, 2019."

“Plaintiff, on behalf of the next-of-kin and/or beneficiaries of decedent Takoda Collins, have suffered loss of Takoda’s society, services, support... Further, Plaintiff asserts that the next-of-kin and/or beneficiaries of decedent Takoda Collins have experienced mental anguish as a result of his untimely and tragic death and manner of his death. As a further direct and proximate result of the Defendants' wrongful conduct, Plaintiff has incurred funeral expenses in an amount yet to be determined," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also seeks to gain more access to records kept by the county.“(The defendants) owed Takoda Collins a statutory duty and/or a common law duty to properly process, investigate, handle and report the allegations of physical abuse committed against Takoda Collins by McLean, Hinze and Ebert,” the lawsuit says. “(The defendants) egregiously failed to properly process, investigate, handle and report the child abuse and neglect of Takoda...”

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