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DeBrodie family attorney says Callaway County and its agencies attempting 'to hide documents'

DeBrodie family attorney says Callaway County and its agencies attempting 'to hide documents'

CALLAWAY COUNTY, Mo - Attorneys for Carl DeBrodie's family and Callway County and its agencies are due in court in March 2020.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed after DeBrodie's body was found encased in concrete inside a Fulton storage unit in 2017. 

According to court documents, the jury trial is scheduled to last eight days and will begin March 2, 2020. 

According to additional court documents ABC 17 News obtained Monday, lawyers from both sides want St. Louis lawyer Richard Sher to mediate the lawsuit. The first mediation meeting is set for July 30 in Jefferson City. 

Furthermore, Callaway County Social Services and its executive director, Julia Kauffman, have filed a motion for a protective order to keep some of their records sealed. According to the motion, defendants said "the order is necessary to protect both the parties and other persons from annoyance and embarrassment."

It's another attempt to just hide documents and keep it from the public," said Rudy Veit, the attorney representing Carl DeBrodie's family. "I’ve had a chance to review the stipulated protective order and I want some changes done."

Veit said he has until June 4 to respond to the motion for a protective order, which he said he will do. He said this motion will require more work in this case.

Part of these are state actors, part of them are facilities that are financed by the state and Carl DeBrodie’s care was rendered by the state," DeBrodie said. "Citizens have a right to know what expenditures were made on his behalf by the state."

However, Michael Berry, the attorney representing Callaway County and several of its agencies doesn't agree. 

It’s a legitimate request, I don’t know that we will get a lot of pushback from the plaintiffs on it," Berry said. "Typically a protective order is going to permit use of the other side of the things that the other side wants or needs, but not to make them public."

But the protective order's destiny is not in either parties hands.

"A judge ultimately decides what is the subject of the protective order, how it's implemented, when it can be modified and on what terms," Viet said.

 

"I can’t tell you whether or not the documents will be released, I’m certainly not going to make a commitment that we would do something that we really can’t or shouldn't do," Berry said.

Veit also said this case is in the interest of the public and most documents the other party is requesting be made private should not be.

ABC 17 previously reported that a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in January. The lawsuit was filed against 23 defendants, including Second Chance Homes, its operator Rachael Rowden and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

The lawsuit claims those involved in DeBrodie's care failed to provide for his safety and attempted to cover up the circumstances of his death. The claims include wrongful death, negligence, civil rights violations and civil conspiracy.

Veit said people may have relatives that end up in these types of nursing homes, and they have a right to know what went on.


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