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Dog bite lawsuit names famed "dog whisperer" as defendant

Fans of the Natural Geographic Channel's television program Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, have likely marveled at how the dog trainer and proclaimed whisperer has helped rehabilitate hundreds of dogs with problem behaviors. Among some of Millan's most challenging cases, are those dogs with a history of violent and aggressive behavior.

The television star's California-based dog boarding and training center, Dog Psychology Center, along with Millan are among defendants who were recently named in a dog bite lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by a woman who was bit by a pitbull that was prematurely released from Millan's training center.

According to the lawsuit, the pitbull was moved to Millan's Dog Psychology Center after it attacked and severely injured a female trainer at a private residence. In that attack, the woman's injuries required reconstructive surgery, metal plates and pins to repair a broken arm and roughly 50 stitches; resulting in the woman suffering "disfiguring scars and permanent physical limitations."

After the dog's first serious attack, the pitbull was moved to Millan's Dog Psychology Center for rehabilitation and training. However, the center prematurely released the dog to an individual with "no training or experience in the handling of vicious and dangerous dogs," after its owner failed to pay the center. Six days later, the dog attacked and bit the plaintiff at a private residence.

As a result of the attack, the woman suffered painful and disfiguring wounds including a broken arm, tendon and muscle lacerations and deep puncture wounds. These injuries have left the plaintiff permanently disabled and without feeling or function of her left hand.

This case illustrates the severe and life-altering injuries that can result from dog attacks and bites. Under California's Dog Bite Statute, dog owners are liable for any and all costs related to a dog bite or attack. Victims may also choose to seek compensation for physical disability, disfigurement and emotional and mental pain and anguish.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "'Dog Whisperer' Blamed for Pit Bull Attack," Matt Reynolds, Feb. 5, 2015

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