People who own pets often say that they are like members of the family. While that sentiment is understandable, the fact remains that pets can still cause damage to property and other people. Massachusetts families may be interested in a recent animal bite case that made headlines. Entertainer Wayne Newton is being sued over a claim that his pet monkey bit a teenage girl who was touring his home.
The incident apparently happened a couple of years ago. The plaintiff, the mother of the girl, says that she and her daughter had been invited to see Newton's mansion as part of a tour. A capuchin monkey that was not in a cage or on a leash was part of the tour. It allegedly attacked and bit the teenager on her wrist, necessitating emergency hospital treatment.
A representative for the girl's mother says that the monkey was not provoked by the girl. She is seeking $15,000 in damages because the girl required additional medical treatment and counseling and she still has a scar from the incident. Newton and his wife say that they sold the property several years ago to investors who changed it to a museum and tourist destination. The investment company is also listed as a defendant in the legal claim.
However this case turns out, it shows just how important it is for owners to ensure that they take responsibility for the actions of their pets. An animal bite can result in significant injury, meaning an affected person could have high medical bills or other damages that aren't easily covered. It is important that Massachusetts families understand that if someone they care about is bitten by a pet, there are ways to pursue legal recourse against the owner and/or other parties whose negligence caused or contributed to the injury.