Settlement Reached in Dog Death Lawsuit Against DJ Samantha Ronson
In August 2010, an unfortunate incident occurred involving a dog owned by celebrity DJ, Samantha Ronson, and another pooch and its owner that resided in Ronson’s West Hollywood building. Ronson’s English bulldog, Cadillac, escaped from her apartment and attacked and killed Tiger, her neighbor’s Maltese. According to Perez Hilton, Cadillac also attacked Tiger’s owner, Farnouche Kamran, who incurred only minor injuries (to which the extent is currently unknown). Kamran stated that Cadillac got out of Ronson's apartment as result of a person’s presence in the open doorway.
Since then, Cadillac has made several moves after the City of West Hollywood declared her a ‘dangerous dog’ (see TMZ’s copy of the official statement) and banned her from the city. Cadillac now lives in Venice, CA with Ronson.
My condolences go out to Karman and her family, as I've seen mild to severe animal attacks, some even being lethal, during my years of veterinary practice. Having your pet get attacked right in front of you is a horrible trauma that no pet owner should have to endure (see: Jessica Simpson's Dog, Daisy, Missing After Coyote Attack).
In the aftermath of the trauma, Kamran sued Ronson, Empire West Homeowners and Monica Holtzer, their building’s landlord, for $750,000. The suit has been settled out of court for an undisclosed and smaller sum. Karman’s lawyer, Ronald Richards, told TMZ that although attaining the settlement was important, "It was all about vindicating the death of Tiger, my client's beloved companion and nothing more."
Although Kamran did not achieve her full settlement, she still received a substantial amount considering that in the state of California, our pooches are considered property and therefore are only worth the cost or market value of the dog.
In California when a dog incurs an attack of another dog all responsibility falls upon the attacking dog’s owner. According to DogBiteLaw.com,"When a dog is injured or killed as a result of a third party's negligent, reckless or intentional conduct, the dog's owner is entitled to receive "compensatory" damages. If the dog survived, this would mean the veterinary treatment costs and possibly an additional sum for the dog owner's emotional distress. If the dog did not survive, then the dog owner should receive the veterinary treatment costs, the costs of basic cremation, the current fair market value of the dog, and possibly an additional sum for the dog owner's emotional distress."
The fact that Ronson’s dog attacked and killed other dog is quite tragic in itself. Yet, what sort of lifestyle restrictions does Cadillac face now that she's been banned from West Hollywood? Is Ronson legally required to quarantine Cadillac to a specific environment so she cannot harm other dogs or people. Additionally, could a court order Cadillac go through any specific training to make her potentially less dangerous?
As National Dog Bite Prevention Week is coming up soon (May 21-26, 2013), I hope that Cadillac’s incident will teach pet owners on a worldwide basis about responsible caretaking and dog-bite preventative measures. Many excellent tips on this topic are given on the AVMA’s Dog Bite Emergencies webpage.
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This post originally appeared on partner site Pet360.com
2 years ago
boy is this sad. my landlord just walked into my apt with his maltese. my boys were sitting on top of their cage. when they saw pablo it scared them. davey had pulled out the feathers on one wing and i am not sure they are comming back. he tried to fly and landed on the floor. i just got to him in time before the dog got him.i am not sure what our laws are here but i have no doubt that my landlord would not have paid any expensises. even if court ordered.
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