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Ohio University denies excessive force lawsuit

Ohio University filed a motion Tuesday denying a Chillicothe woman’s excessive force lawsuit against its police department.

Lyndsey Howell, 21, filed a complaint in the Ohio Court of Claims against Ohio University Police Department for an officer using excessive force while arresting her. Howell claimed Lt. Eric Hoskinson broke her left thumb and severely bruised her finger while “improperly and wrongfully” handcuffing her after a traffic stop on Jan. 21, 2012.

OU filed an answer to the complaint denying Howell’s claims. The university also said in court documents that Howell’s alleged injuries were caused by her own negligence and she knew she was putting herself at risk.

Howell was convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in the Athens County Municipal Court from charges related to the incident.

Howell, who was an OU student at the time of the incident, is requesting $25,000 in damages for her suffering and medical expenses caused by the incident. She claims her injuries caused her a great deal of pain and prohibited her from doing the hands-on work that is required for her course of study, according to court documents.

The university also said in its answer that Howell failed to mitigate her damages and it reserves the right to assert further defenses when more evidence is available. The court has yet to issue a response.

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