Lawsuit filed against Pit Bull owner who heads to court

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Lawsuit filed against Pit Bull owner who heads to court

CREATED Apr 27, 2012

Developments in the case of an elderly woman mauled by two pit bulls.

Reporter: Tammy Vo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Friday morning, Marisabel Perales, the owner of two pit bulls that attacked Miriam Seymour, 89, headed to court. A judge transferred the case to another judge who will conduct a hearing at the end of May. 9 On Your Side tried to ask Perales if she wanted to say anything to the victim of the attack, but she declined. She faces two misdemeanor charges for each dog including: dog off leash and dog that bites.

Meanwhile, a civil lawsuit has been filed against Perales, Christopher Juarez, said to be the boyfriend of Perales and Casa Carina Association. Casa Carina is the homeowners association where the incident took place. In early March, Seymour went to check her mail near River and Campbell when she was attacked by the two roaming pit bulls, "Ghandi" and Cowdog". The dogs were chained together according to Animal Control reports.

Seymour is still recovering but told KGUN 9 over the phone that  she is still struggling to even walk and that her doctors stopped counting the bite marks on her body when they surpassed 100.

Dev Sethi is an attorney at the law firm Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi. They are representing Seymour.     The civil lawsuit is separate from the misdemeanor county charges. The lawsuit alleges, in part, that the owners should have known the dogs were dangerous, that they failed to take care of the dogs and that they are liable for damages regardless of whether they knew dogs were dangerous.

What will ultimately bring Seymour justice in this case?

"Mrs. Seymour hopes the dog owners and all the defendants in this case will take responsibility for what has happened to her. There is no such thing as one free bite. When it comes to your responsibility for damage your dog does, if it bites or attacks someone, whether you had any notice that the dog had vicious tendencies to act out or not, you're responsible for it".

9 On Your Side has been looking into whether felony charges are warranted in this case based on allegations the owners knew the dogs were vicious. One week before Seymour's attack, a mailman reported an aggressive encounter with one of the pit bulls involved in her attack. Animal Control tells KGUN 9 that they gave the dog's owner a warning. KGUN 9 has not yet received an answer from the County Attorney's office as to why they're not pursuing a felony charge.