Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeCrime & LegalConsumer ProtectionEquestrian events center forced to close, sued by County officials for dangerous...

Equestrian events center forced to close, sued by County officials for dangerous code violations

The Mt. Hood Center has also been the center of growing controversy across social media over its management of rodeo and other events and the safety of patrons.

A photo of the Mt. Hood Event Center operated by Kaluga, LLC, owned by California businessman Dean Najdawi. (Photo Credit – Google Maps)

Clackamas, Ore. – A popular and controversial equestrian and event center in Oregon has been ordered to close and sued by Clackamas County, according to a press release. The company is also facing allegations in the lawsuit that it permitted mistreatment of an animal.

The Mt. Hood Center in Boring, Oregon, located east of Portland, was issued a dangerous building closure notice by Clackamas County code enforcement officials. The County also served the company with a public and chronic nuisance lawsuit earlier today, according to the county’s statement.

“The Mt. Hood Center will not be able to legally host any future scheduled events, including weddings, birthdays, the High Noon in Boring event on April 20 and the Derby Party on May 4. People who put down deposit money or purchased event tickets at the Mt. Hood Center should contact the facility regarding refunds,” the County said.

The facility owner, Kaluga, LLC, is alleged to have “repeatedly rebuffed” help from Clackamas County officials who offered assistance to get the facility to comply with county and state codes.

According to Clackamas County officials, the 18-acre facility has continued to be the subject of recurring code violations since 2017, including dangerous facility capacity violations and illegal construction.

County officials recently posted numerous videos on social media showing a March 16th, 2024, event in which security staff were overwhelmed by crowds of thousands despite the facility’s maximum occupancy of 300.

According to the County’s lawsuit, a stabbing also occurred during the event. It also alleged that the company permitted the “mistreatment of an animal” at the center in late March.

The Mt. Hood Center was also the subject of controversy over the treatment of a bull during a Latin rodeo event after a video was posted online by one of the attendees who provided a copy of Equestrian Media Group. Although this publication did not report on it at that time, the story was widely reported by other local media outlets.

County officials filed a lawsuit April 16th against the owners of the Mt. Hood Center in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

Officials with the company ignored multiple attempts to seek comment from Equestrian Media Group in January.

An incident report from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office also detailed numerous people who were highly intoxicated at the event. Alcoholic beverage containers were found throughout the venue, despite the County saying alcohol was legally limited to the bar area. Bartenders were also reportedly seen handing beers to people over a side fence at the venue.

“The Clackamas Fire’s Fire Marshal responded to the event, finding blocked exits and the event clearly exceeding the venue’s capacity,” said the County’s statement.

Officials also pointed to the Ghost Ship fire that took place in 2016 in Oakland, California, as their reason for the necessity of compliance with building codes.

That event resulted in the deaths of 36 people.

“That’s a constant reminder that if we do not follow through with enforcing these codes, which are birthed from historical events, lives can and will be lost,” said Clackamas Fire Public Information Officer Izak Hamilton.

“It’s only a matter of time before the negligence shown by this property manager will result in a potentially horrific event,” said Hamilton.

He went on to detail the fire agency’s response to the large event in March.

“When we arrived, I think the estimate for attendees was around 7,500,” Hamilton said. The event center has a maximum capacity of 300.

A copy of the lawsuit filed against the company and be viewed by clicking here.

“During this time, the Residents have caused a public nuisance by intentionally,
negligently, or recklessly participating in or allowing certain activities to occur on the
Property, which substantially and unreasonably interfere with the public’s right to health,
safety, and well-being,”
the legal complaint said in part.

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, the business was dissolved last August because it failed to file its annual report with the Corporations Division.

Equestrian Media Group also discovered that the assumed business name, “Mt. Hood Center,” was actually registered by Kaluga, LLC’s owner, Dean Najdawi, and another company called Magdala, LLC, not Kaluga itself.

Najdawi purchased the Mt. Hood Center property in July of 2018.

Najdawi, a California businessman, was also highlighted in a 2016 article by Patch, which reported he owed over $850,000 in Sales & Use taxes to the State of California.

Magdala, LLC, is a Florida-incorporated business. Court records show that Magdala, under the DBA of Mt. Hood Center, filed a civil lawsuit against multiple defendants in September 2022 related to a drunk-driving incident where a local man allegedly crashed into the company’s billboard.

The company has not responded to our attempts seeking comment.

This is a developing story, and you can count on us to keep you updated. We will update this story if we promptly receive a statement from Najdawi or Kaluga, LLC.

Note: This story was updated shortly after publication to include findings regarding business registrations.

- Advertisement -Ad Space Available

Use the links below to checkout our social media pages. Like/follow us to stay up to date on our latest and breaking news that matters most.

Supporting our efforts

NW Horse Report is working hard to bring industry-focused news and issues within the northwest to you at no cost. We accomplish this through reader donations and paid advertisements only without paywalls. Be sure to contact us if you have a news tip!

- Advertisment -Ad Space Available

Most Popular