K-9 claim rejected by county
Marathon County has denied a claim for damages from a Colby man who was bitten on the head by a police dog last August after fleeing from a traffic stop.
On Jan. 5, attorney Jerome Tlusty filed a claim on behalf of his client, 68-year-old Klyde Gebelein, seeking over $300,000 in damages from the county.
A Feb. 10 letter from a claims representative at Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company recommended the county board formally reject the claim.
“Following a review of the information and an investigation of the facts, it has been determined that Marathon County has no liability for this claim,” wrote Jackie Kaul from WMMIC.
The claim alleges that Gebelein’s constitutional rights were violated when Deputy Troy Deiler “abused and/or misused his power” by deploying his canine, Leo, to seize him. The claim accuses Deiler of “recklessly disregarding” the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department’s canine police and “thereby directly causing the bites, lacerations, fear, fright, headaches, sleep disorders and permanent scarring.”
The claim includes $150,000 in punitive damages, plus another $100,000 for pain, suffering and humiliation and $50,000 for “future suffering” related to headaches, sleep disorders and “horrific permanent scarring.”