Woman sues for mental and physical injuries allegedly suffered after man shot up downtown Covington law firm

By Anna Aguillard | Aug 6, 2014

(Correction: The title of an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the plaintiff was suing her employer. The Louisiana Record regrets the error.)

COVINGTON – An office manager present during a shooting that occurred at a Covington law firm last summer has filed suit in civil court.

Robin Domingue and her husband Elden Domingue Jr. filed suit against St. Tammany Parish, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, St. Tammany Parish Office of Risk Management, The Estate of Roderick Rist, Emily Buell Rist and their insurers in the 22nd Judicial District Court on July 23.

The suit emerged in the aftermath of the July 2013 shooting that occurred at a downtown Covington law firm. Roderick Rist, a former client of the firm’s owner Tim Upton, pulled up to the firm at fired his gun over 60 times before killing himself.

Plaintiff Robin Domingue was the only one present at the firm at the time. According to the suit, Robin sustained serious and permanent injuries while attempting to escape and seek shelter from the gunshots.

The suit accuses St. Tammany Parish and its Sherriff’s Office of failing to properly investigate the direct threats of Roderick Rist, who it claims was “an individual known to be dangerous and mentally unstable.” The Domingues maintain that the Sheriff’s Office failed to properly confiscate Rist’s firearms, failed to perform an adequate background check on an individual with direct threats of violence, and failure to maintain the proper standard of care.

The Parish Coroner is accused of failing to issue a protective order when Rist began exhibiting “unstable” behavior, and failing to follow procedure for handling repeatedly dangerous conduct.

The Domingues further accuse the shooter’s relative, Emily Rist, of failing to report threats and failing to prevent an individual known to be “mentally unstable” from obtaining fire arms.

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount in damages from the defendants and their general liability insurance policies for severe physical and emotional injuries, residual disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorder, lost wages, and medical expenses. Robin’s husband, Elden Domingue Jr., seeks damages for loss of consortium, service and society.

The plaintiff is represented by Jonathon E. Mitchell of Baton Rouge-based firm deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus and Frugé LLP.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Martin Coady. The plaintiffs request a trial by jury.

Case no. 2014-13260.

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