Lawyers for Carl DeBrodie's mother want answers in wrongful death lawsuit

Carl DeBrodie (File).

In a recently filed wrongful death lawsuit, lawyers representing Carl DeBrodie's mother said Wednesday they hope to understand how the developmentally disabled man died while in custody of the state and an independent living facility.

“We were waiting for the prosecuting attorney’s office and the [attorney general's] office to complete their investigations," Attorney Rudy Veit said Wednesday. "They’re not quite complete yet, but we thought it was time to get this one rolling to start taking depositions."

More than nine months have passed since Carl DeBrodie was found dead encased in concrete and still no criminal charges have been filed. Veit said his client isn't waiting any longer. He said his office is cooperating with the Callaway County prosecutor's office.

"There are details they need to continue to follow up on, and we understand that."

The state statute of limitations requires a wrongful death complaint to be filed within three years calculated from the date of death. Although police found his dead body in a storage unit last spring, investigators have yet to say when exactly DeBrodie died.

"We thought it would be to our advantage to file the lawsuit now, it takes a while to get service, it still takes a while to get depositions going, we really have to get that going to find out who is responsible and who isn't."

Dozens of defendants are listed in the lawsuit. Veit said Wednesday he did not believe any of them had been served yet.

“There are a lot of individuals named," Veit acknowledged. "Hopefully when we get through this and sort it out, we can eliminate some, because of the complexity of the case we have to name everybody who was part of it to try to sort out how this young man, being in the care of the state, ended up in a concrete block without anyone knowing or reporting him missing."

Defendants include several state and Callaway County divisions. Veit said the law requires him to file the lawsuit in Callaway County, but intends to have the case moved to Boone County to avoid any conflict of interest.

"The main purpose now is to find out what happened," Veit said. "What needs to be done so that it doesn't happen again and to be a wake-up call to those people involved because we know something of this horrible nature should not have happened."

Although DeBrodie's biological mother, Carolyn Summer, did not have custody of him leading up to his death, Veit said she is still entitled to hold accountable the people who were supposed to be taking care of her son.

“The mother has her own challenges in life," Veit said. "She relied upon the guardian, and institution as to what her rights were; when she could visit, where she could visit and what her relationship with her son could be," Veit said. "She relied upon them in her actions, whether their advice was good or bad. She did not want to interfere with her son’s care and well being if she wasn’t allowed to.”

Summer's attorneys have requested a jury trial in the wrongful death lawsuit. Veit did not disclose how much money or what type of relief they are seeking from the court.

“We’re asking for whatever is fair and reasonable for the death of her son and what ever is allowed within the statutes of the law," Veit said. "The amounts will be determined by a jury.”

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