“Dog Whisperer” star Cesar Millan has been sued by a Florida nurse who was brutally attacked by a pit bull that left Millan’s training center just days before the attack.
According to a news report in the Daily Mail, Alison Bitney was visiting a friend in Santa Clarita in September 2014 when she says the dog viciously attacked her.
The lawsuit states the dog attack left Bitney with disfiguring open wounds, deep muscle injuries and tendon lacerations. Bitney is seeking punitive damages.
The pit bull had been sent to Millan’s Dog Psychology Center to escape being euthanized after he’d previously savagely attacked a Texas trainer.
Bitney says the center released the dog into her friend’s care prematurely and is suing the center, Millan, her friend and a previous rescuer. She also says her left hand has no feeling or function after the dog bite incident.
The Dog Psychology Center tells the Los Angeles Times that the pit bull left the facility against the strong advice and objection of its trainer. They also say Millan was never in contact with the animal.
Dog Bite Laws in California
Under California law, dog owners are responsible for injuries and damages caused by their pets.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
This means dog owners can be held financially liable for the damages caused to victims regardless of whether the attack occurred on a public or private property or whether the dog had a prior history of violent attacks.
All dog owners – regardless of the breed – have a responsibility to ensure that their dogs are on leash at all times.
If they own a vicious dog with a violent past, owners should keep them in a secure enclosure or muzzled if the dog is in public.
Compensation for Dog Bite Victims
Injured victims of dog attacks can seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, permanent injury (scarring and disfigurement), cost of cosmetic surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles dog bite attorney who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.