Vermont Business Sued over Parking Lot Attack

April 26, 2010

A Vermont man has sued a motel owner, saying he failed to check out the background of an employee who attacked him in the parking lot.

In December, 45-year-old Donald O’Dell was found guilty of striking Derek Okundaye in the head with a metal object and was sentenced to at least 13 years in prison.

O’Dell had lived at the Walk in the Woods Motel and had been hired to plow snow there. Police said the encounter with Okundaye, who was staying at the motel, happened during a February 2009 snowstorm over plowing.

The Bennington Banner reports Okundaye’s suit says motel owner William Driscoll failed to investigate O’Dell’s background, and should have known he was dangerous. Driscoll’s attorney has denied the allegations.

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