Jennifer Lopez’s domestic bliss has been shaken. Or bitten, rather. J-Lo is being sued by a former flight attendant after Lopez’s German shepherd guard dog bit the woman on the leg while on a private cross country flight two years ago. The flight attendant twisted in an attempt to get away from the dog, falling hard to the floor. She ended up with such bad back injuries that she eventually had to have surgery. She can no longer spend hours on her feet as a flight attendant and had to quit her job.
Lisa Wilson, 40, filed a suit in Brooklyn Federal Court Thursday, alleging the attack caused her to fall and suffer back injuries that prevent her from working anymore.
Wilson says Lopez boarded a Gulfstream IV jet at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, L.I., with Floyd, a German shepherd described in the manifest as “a well-behaved guard dog.” Just in case, Wilson, of Mary Esther, Fla., says in the court papers, Lopez gave her some instructions on how to act around Floyd. But the suit alleges that 90 minutes into the flight, Wilson walked past Floyd, and he responded by “attacking her and biting her pant leg.”
In an attempt to get away, Wilson says she “twisted and fell,” injuring her lower back so badly she had to undergo surgery last year and no longer can work – “at great economic loss.” The suit contends Lopez, who has an estate on Long Island with hubby Marc Anthony and their twins, is “absolutely liable for all injuries” because she “should have known the dog had vicious propensities” and kept it muzzled and leashed.
[From the Daily News]
I’m sure this varies a bit from state to state, but my understanding is that an owner is generally legally responsible for the behavior of their animal. That doesn’t mean if your dog kills someone you’re put on trial for murder, but you’re certainly not without legal culpability, and could be held in a lesser charge.
This doesn’t strike me as a frivolous lawsuit. Lisa Wilson’s lawyer said they have tried to settle the case over the last two years and have been completely ignored by Lopez. And it doesn’t seem like she is sensationalizing the events, which is part of why I believe her story. She’s not saying the dog attacked her, but that it bit her pant leg and she fell as a result. It’s purely instinct to twist and try to get away when a German shepherd is biting at you.
The dog is a guard dog. It’s obviously capable of biting and severely hurting someone if it wants to. Most German shepherd guard dogs are trained not to bite without prompting, but clearly something went wrong, and it’s Lopez’s responsibility to bear the financial burden, not the woman who happened to be walking by.
Here’s Jennifer Lopez shopping in Madrid Madrid on Wednesday. Images thanks to WENN.