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Woman allegedly injured during arrest responds to OUPD's denial of lawsuit

A Chillicothe woman filed a response Tuesday to Ohio University’s answer to her excessive-force complaint denying her claims.

Lyndsey Howell is suing the Ohio University Police Department for using excessive force when they arrested her after a traffic stop on Jan. 21, 2012.

Howell claims Lt. Eric Hoskinson broke her left thumb and severely bruised her finger while “improperly and wrongfully” handcuffing her. In the Athens County Municipal Court, she was convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated from charges related to the incident.

Howell was an OU student at the time of the incident.

Howell’s motion asked the Ohio Court of Claims to strike portions of OU’s answer that are frivolous and without merit.

Vincent DePascale, Howell’s attorney, said in court documents that OU should not have denied Howell’s injuries or said they were of her own negligence.

DePascale said Hoskinson took Howell to the hospital after her arrest, so he was aware of her injuries. He also said in court documents that Hoskinson knew the proper way to handcuff someone and Howell should not have assumed a risk, which OU claimed.

“No one assumes the risk of having bones broken from being improperly handcuffed,” DePascale said in court documents.

Howell originally listed Hoskinson as a defendant in the complaint, but the court dismissed him in January 2013 because only state agencies can be sued in the Ohio Court of Claims.

DePascale said OU was grasping for straws in its answer.

“(OU) should not be permitted to jerk (Howell) or (DePascale) around simply because it can,” he said in court documents.

Howell is asking for $25,000 in damages for suffering and medical expenses.

The court has yet to issue a response to the motion.

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