Local Woman Denies Liability, Negligence in Dog Attack Lawsuit

An attorney representing a local woman named in a lawsuit that stems from a dog attack last fall on Benedict Hill Road has filed papers denying that she’s liable for the incident. 

The owner of one of two dogs that attacked the plaintiff also was not negligent in the Sept. 15 incident, according to an answer and special defense filed Friday on her behalf by attorney Jill Hallihan of New Haven-based Musco & Iassogna. 

Rather, Hallihan said in documents filed in state Superior Court, the plaintiff herself failed “to make reasonable and proper use of her faculties and senses at the time and place of the incident alleged in the complaint.”

The plaintiff, Allyn Holmberg, also “failed to exercise reasonable care for her safety at the time and place of the incident alleged in the complaint” and “failed to act as a reasonably prudent would have under the same or similar circumstances,” Hallihan said on behalf of the defendant, Luz Berg. Hallihan on the same day filed a claim for jury. According to Holmberg’s complaint, the two dogs—Sarge and Bane—attacked her “suddenly and without warning” on that Sunday last fall “while roaming and unleashed.”

The dogs, in the care of next-door neighbor Paul Saitta “attacked without provocation and began to ferociously attack, bite, maul, savage and mutilate the plaintiff, causing severe and permanent injuries,” according to the lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court by attorney Jason Gladstone of New Canaan-based Lampert, Toohey & Rucci LLC. As a direct result of the attack, Holmberg sustained several injuries and has incurred medical bills, pain and suffering, “mental anguish, mental anxiety and emotional distress” and “has suffered permanent impairment of her ability to carry on life’s activities which she had enjoyed before the attack,” the lawsuit said.

Restraining Order Issued for Biting Labradoodle

Police last month issued a restraining order regarding the future handling of an Orchard Drive dog after the animal bit someone for at least the third time in four years. The Labradoodle, ‘Bodie,’ bit a young girl on the right calf on a Sunday last month, according to an incident report obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a public records request. The girl was bit after she entered the home Feb. 2 with her mother and siblings, and the child  “did not share the incident until they were leaving and back in their vehicle,” according to the incident report of Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section. The victim’s mother contacted police the following day.

Dog Euthanized After Attack in New Canaan

A Darien man had his German shepherd dog euthanized last month after the animal got off-property in eastern New Canaan and attacked two dogs walking past, severely injuring one of them. The incident unfolded on Thayer Pond Road on the morning of Friday, Jan. 3, according to a New Canaan Police Department case report obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a public records request. The owners of the two victim dogs—a Cockapoo and Cocker spaniel—also were injured as they tried to protect their own pets from the large black German shepherd named “Crypto,” according to the incident report from Officer Allyson Halm, head of the NCPD Animal Control section. Crypto was about 13 months old, officials said.