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Family of slain delivery man sues Domino’s, Deutsche Bank

The family of a pizza delivery man whose brutal killing in 2010 led Boston’s mayor to say he wanted to “slowly torture’’ the alleged murderer has filed a $15 million negligence and wrongful death lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza and Deutsche Bank, which owned the property where the crime occurred.

Richel Nova was 58 years old and the father of three -- including twin daughters who worked at Boston City Hall -- when he was dispatched by a Domino’s franchisee to 742 Hyde Park Ave., on Sept. 1, 2010, a shuttered and dilapidated two-family structure.

Nova was allegedly lured inside the building where he was stabbed 16 times and robbed of $143 in cash as well as the two pepperoni pizzas, chicken wings, and soda his alleged killers had ordered as they set in motion the planned robbery.

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Alexander Emmanuel Gallett, Michel Andre St. Jean, and Gallett’s then-girlfriend, Yamiley Mathurin allegedly confessed to Boston police following their arrests. All three have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges and are being held without bail.

The defendants are not named in the lawsuit, filed last week in Suffolk Superior Court.

In the suit, attorneys for Nova’s son Irving Lara, who is the administrator of his estate, said one of Nova’s co-workers at Domino’s was asked by Nova’s killers if he would be carrying cash when he delivered their order. The co-worker told the caller Nova would have cash, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit also alleges Nova’s co-workers failed to confirm the callback number, a failure that “created an elevated risk of criminal assault’’ as did the pizza shop’s decision to send Nova to the rear of a building and out of public view.

“At the time of Richel Nova’s death, Domino’s had no policies posted in and around the store regarding delivery driver security,’’ the lawsuit filed by Boston attorney Howard J. Wayne alleges. “Domino’s conduct was a proximate cause of the assault, battery, false imprisonment, and death of Richel Nova.’’

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A spokesman for Domino’s said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the allegations in the suit. “We were horrified by the crime and deeply saddened by the loss of Mr. Nova, an innocent man simply trying to earn some money delivering pizza. We were among those who contributed to the trust fund created for his children,” Tim McIntyre, vice president for communications at the company, said in an emailed statement.

Deutsche, the lawsuit alleges, had failed to secure the two-story building, which was vacant for two years before Nova’s murder, and did not post no-trespassing signs on the dilapidated building. According to the lawsuit, a Deutsche Bank subsidiary was assigned title of the property on June 30 and still held the title the day Nova was killed.

“Deutsche Bank had a duty to maintain, control, and secure the property, and a duty to protect against foreseeable criminal attacks,’’ the lawsuit alleges. “At no time prior, did Deutsche Bank place ‘No Trespassing’ signs ... or adequately secure the property.’’

The Globe attempted by e-mail to contact Deutsche Bank, but the company did not immediately respond.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino spoke to Emerson College students on Sept. 15, 2010 where he was asked by the students about the murder.

“If I saw these guys in a dark alley, I’d like to have a fight with them,” Menino said.

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“I’d do some things that would be worse than the death penalty. Because it wouldn’t happen in a second. I would slowly torture them.”

A spokeswoman later said Menino was speaking from “raw emotion.’’


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com.