Lincoln plumber’s widow and vet clinic agree to $3 million settlement for wrongful death lawsuit

A Lincoln veterinary clinic and its owner have agreed to pay $3 million to settle a wrongful death case filed by the widow of a man killed after being crushed in a partial ceiling collapse in 2019.

In the 2020 lawsuit filed in Lancaster County District Court, Ryan Kizzier’s widow, Dana Kizzier, alleged that the Nebraska Animal Medical Center at 56th Street and Old Cheney Road and the negligence of Forney Properties LLC led to Kizzier’s death six days later.

He was the 40-year-old father of two young boys.

The lawsuit alleged that prior to July 15, 2019, the clinic dangerously used and overloaded the area above the ceiling of its first-floor dog kennels with heavy shelving and storage.

After a water main broke and the ceiling began to sag, staff were able to stop the flow of water. Kizzier’s attorney, Eric Brown, said Nebraska Animal Medical Center and Forney Properties were told structural changes to the first floor kennels were needed to safely repair the pipe and did not make the changes. nor contacted a structural engineer about it.

People also read…

Instead, he said, they contacted Ryan Kizzier, owner of Lincoln Plumbing, to fix it and restore water to the kennels.

When Kizzier arrived and began working on the pipe, the first floor ceiling collapsed on top of him.

Rescue teams were able to free him using airbags, but Kizzier later died in a hospital.

In its response to the lawsuit, NAMC denied any knowledge of pre-existing structural issues and said only Kizzier made the decision to review the ceiling, “which suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed through no fault of the defendants. “.

But Brown said he subpoenaed documents and learned that another local contractor had maintained the kennel area two months before the collapse and said it appeared structurally unsound. The plumber reportedly expressed concerns “about whether it was safe for employees and dogs to use this area”.

After the collapse, NAMC was sold. Although manager Adam Forney is still working on it.

The parties reached an agreement during mediation in October. Earlier this month, the Lancaster County Court approved the settlement as required by law and guardianships have been put in place for the surviving minor children of Kizzier.

According to court records, one-third of the settlement will go toward attorney fees, and Dana Kizzier and her sons will receive the remainder, $1,984,000.

Brown said the attorneys are relieved for the family, “as this will allow them to continue to heal and hopefully provide some measure of closure.”

He called Ryan Kizzier’s death tragic and completely preventable.

“A woman lost a husband and two boys senselessly lost their fathers because a company was more concerned with reopening its water to start using the kennels again for profit than the safety of the people working in this area, including their own. employees. There was no excuse,” the attorney said.

Attorney Dan Ketcham, who represents NAMC and Forney Properties, did not respond to a request for comment.

We are always interested in hearing news from our community. Let us know what happens!

About Chuck Keeton

Check Also

Marion Kennel Club, Inc. – Saturday, November 5, 2022

Show name: Marion Kennel Club, Inc.Location: Fort Wayne, INDate of the show: Saturday November 5, …