Takoda Collins' estate sues county, says his death was a ‘catastrophic failure’

DAYTON — A civil lawsuit filed by Takoda Collins' estate is seeking compensatory damages and punitive damages in excess of $25,000 from Montgomery County in relation his death.

The lawsuit filed Monday in common pleas court said “this action arises out of a failure by the Montgomery County Children Services to protect ten-year-old Takoda Collins from physical, sexual, and emotional harm, resulting in his needless, tragic death as proximate result of the wrongful acts and omissions of the Defendants.”

“To be brief, he was tortured. He was starved, he was beaten, he was raped," said Michael Wright, attorney for Takoda Collins' estate. “Just the most horrific things a child could go through, Takoda went through and this was all preventable.”

Attorneys for Takoda’s family said his death was a “catastrophic failure” of Children Services workers, claiming that despite being informed and alerted many times by school teachers and others of the abuse, they didn’t act.

>> Children Services to announce changes to policies following Takoda Collins investigation

A spokeswoman for Montgomery County said “we cannot discuss confidential case information or pending litigation.” She said the county will be represented by Lewis Brisbois, an attorney through the county’s insurance carrier.

Dayton police and medics responded to a Kensington Drive home on Dec. 13 home after Al McLean reported that his 10-year-old son, Takoda Collins, was unresponsive.

Collins was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The child had bruises and cuts all over his body, according to court documents.

“Takoda was kept in a dirty, locked, dark attic and abused daily over the course of several years,” read an affidavit and statement of facts. “The interviews also revealed that Takoda was held underwater and gasping for breath prior to succumbing to his injuries.”

Last week, Montgomery County unveiled changes in its policies and procedures to improve child safety within the county’s Children Services Division.

The plan will be presented this afternoon as part of the division’s “new strategic vision” and will include changes to the agency’s structure.

The announcement came after an internal review into the organization following the homicide of Takoda Collins, who died from blunt force trauma in combination with compressive asphyxia and water submission. Al McLean and Amanda Hinze were indicted on new charges connected to Collins' death in July.