'Kleos' Faces $1.6 Million Lawsuit

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, November 29 2012 at 4:58 PM, Updated: Thu, November 29 2012 at 5:11 PM

A one point six million dollar wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a foster home in Klamath County...the suit was filed by relatives of 14 year old Larry Daniel Hammack.

The suit claims that negligence on the part of Kleos Childrens's Community led to the death of fourteen year old Daniel Hammack in November of 2010.

The suit alleges that two Kleos employees dropped Hammack while moving him from his wheelchair in a bathroom, breaking both of Hammack's legs.

Hammack died the following day.

KOTI contacted Kleos Executive Director Gordon Hankins for a comment.  Hankins said he wasn't at liberty to comment on the issue due to the pending litigation.

The suit also claims that the Oregon Department of Human Services was negligent in placing Daniel Hammack in a facility that was not capable of dealing with Hammack's medical and physical needs. 

The legal challenges aren't the first for Kleos.  Back in 2005, a foster father was sentenced to three years in prison for sexually abusing a client.  Kleos didn't receive re-certification until late 2009.

The suit was filed by Bend Attorney Joseph Walsh on behalf of Jody Hammack, Daniel's aunt.

The suit seeks damages of one and a half million dollars for pain and suffering, and 110 thousand dollars for medical expenses and burial costs.

The civil suit was filed in Klamath County Court on November 15th.  No trial date has yet been set.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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