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Karen Liao Wins MSJ on Behalf of Animal Shelter

Karen Liao, an associate in the Irvine office of Manning & Kass, successfully argued a Motion for Summary Judgment in an unfortunate incident, wherein a volunteer for an animal shelter was mauled by a American Staffordshire Terrier (commonly referred to as AmStaff) named Bubba. The dog's victim was hospitalized with a broken arm, and, within a month had already undergone four surgeries.

The AmStaff shares physical (and certain temperamental) traits with pit bulls, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart. According to the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America, "aggression towards humans in this breed in non-threatening situations should never be seen."

Ms. Liao argued that Plaintiff was familiar with the nature of the dogs in the shelter and had expressly released the shelter from liability thus assuming risk; that Plaintiff's claim was barred by "primary assumption of risk" doctrine, which includes the 'fireman's' and 'veterinarian's' rules; and that actions of the Defendant did not rise to the level of gross negligence.

Plaintiff’s last settlement demand before the hearing was $999,999.99.  

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