WINFIELD -- A man is suing the town of Eleanor for the death of his mother after she was reported missing from her home.

On Dec. 16, 2008, Dorothy Lee Meadows was reported missing from her home on West Fir Street in Eleanor, according to a complaint filed Dec. 30 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Kevin D. Harshbarger claims it was reported that Meadows, who was 77 years old, was severely limited in her mobility, unable to move independently without the use of a walker and subject to some degree of cognitive impairment.

Harshbarger claims the defendant failed to have a missing person protocol for elderly, mentally impaired or gate-restricted persons. He claims despite repeated requests from him and other members of the family that some action needed to be taken other than filing a police report and issuance of a "BOLO," the defendant failed to implement any coordinated effort to search for and locate Meadows.

Meadows died in the late evening hours of Dec. 16 as a result of environmental hypothermia when she became stranded without her walker and fell into a shallow ditch diagonally across the street from her house, according to the suit.

Harshbarger is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by Harvey D. Peyton and Thomas H. Peyton of the Peyton Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Phillip M. Stowers.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 09-C-544

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