Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

March 13, 2014

Trial date set in case against DHS

By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express

---- — The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and a few of its employees will be defendants in a civil trial on Dec. 29, 2014.

Chad Bennett of Pleasantville filed the petition against DHS, as well as employees Mary Nedoba, Howard Griffin and Julie Allison on July 5, 2013. In his complaint, Bennett accuses DHS and the named employees of unlawfully disseminating information about Bennett.

Bennett’s petition states that Nedoba was investigating a child abuse claim against him. Even though she could not build a case against him, she allegedly continued to collect information. At one point, Bennett’s petition alleges that Nedoba persuaded the mother of the child Bennett was accused of abusing to fabricate an account of the child’s injury.

On Oct. 28, 2009, DHS agreed to a settlement, in which it states that the incident was not confirmed and that Bennett was not placed on the child abuse registry. The settlement also called for the DHS to retain the assessment performed for five years. However, Bennett claims that the information contained was shared with other agencies’ employees and contractors.

The State filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming that the court did not have jurisdiction over the matter. Judge Randy Hefner denied this motion on Sept. 30, 2013.

A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 29, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.