The Papers Inc. is one of six defendants in a civil lawsuit filed Monday, June 6, by Atta Belle Helman and Larry Dwayne Helman, 9174 E. Doswell Blvd., Cromwell. The suit stems from the death of Atta Helman’s son and Larry Helman’s twin brother, Gary Helman, on Aug. 25, 2014. The Helmans are requesting a trial by jury.
The suit also names Barnett’s Bail Bonds Inc. Leesburg; Stacey Staley, Warsaw, (editor, staceypageonline.com); Tadd S. Martin, Osceola; Daniel S. Foster, LaPorte; and Michael C. Thomas, Osceola.
No specified dollar amount is being sought in the eight count complaint. What the Helmans are seeking are compensatory damage to be determined, attorney fees and treble damages, cost of the action and all other relief.
Larry Helman was injured in the shooting at their home. Atta Helman was at the residence when the shooting incident occurred, according to police reports at the time of the shootings.
The counts in the complaint are: negligence against all defendants, and individually against Barnett’s and The Papers; trespass against Martin, Foster and Thomas as agents of Barnetts; residential entry, intimidation and battery to Atta Helman and battery to Larry Helman against Martin.
All defendants are being accused of negligence in Count I. The Papers’ involvement in this count is due to the fact Staley was acting as an employee or agent of The Papers, liable for her actions. It is stated in the complaint Staley “owed a duty” to the Helmans to exercise reasonable and ordinary care when using information obtained while at the home. Staley, according to documents, was negligent and breached her duty of reasonable care by providing information to civilian bounty hunters in anticipation of and/or in hope of a violent confrontation.
The document states as a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of the negligent actions of Staley, Atta Helman suffered painful injures, she provided information to the bounty hunters, hoping to “boost her notoriety and/or the notoriety and readership of The Papers by being the first reporter on the scene of a violent confrontation.” Documents allege Staley provided information to the bounty hunters in exchange for the first or exclusive interview with the bounty hunters in order to boost her notoriety and/or notoriety and readership of The Papers.
Documents also allege Staley, as an employee and/or agent of The Papers, provided information to Martin to induce Martin to confront Gary W. Helman and she expected to receive exclusive access to Barnett’s agents for a new story in exchange for information on Helman. Documents also state she anticipated a confrontation and remained near the residence during the attempted apprehension, so that she could be first on the scene after the confrontation.
The Papers, is listed under a negligence claim in Count III. This accusation states at all relevant times The Papers owed a duty to Larry and Atta Helman to hire, train and supervise its employees and agents, including Staley, to exercise reasonable and ordinary care when using information obtained through the course of employment while in the home of Atta Helman.
Further documentation states The Papers and its employees and/or agents were negligent and breached this duty by failing to train and supervise adequately agents and/or employees it hired, selected or directed to perform news reporter services on behalf of The Papers. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of the negligent actions of The Papers, Larry Helman and Atta Helman both suffered severe and permanent injuries.
The case has been filed in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Summons on the defendants had not yet been served early Tuesday afternoon. No court dates have been set.
Anthony M. Rose, South Bend, is attorney for the plaintiffs.