The attorney representing the 82-year-old grandfather who was allegedly bitten by a Disneyland security dog says the attack indicates a lack of responsibility on the part of the Anaheim theme park.
“Disneyland is a place where my client should be able to feel safe and enjoy the day with his grandkids and his daughter and his wife and that was taken away from him,” said San Diego attorney Ian Pancer.
Paul Perez, of Las Vegas, was reportedly bitten in May 2022 and filed a civil lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Orange County Superior Court for damages on Aug. 1.
He waited more than a year to sue in the hopes of settling without filing suit. “We were trying to see if Disney would be interested in resolving the case, and they, in my assessment strung us along and never offered us a penny so that’s the main reason is I thought we were going to potentially resolve it,” Pancer told OrangeCountyLawyers.com.
Related: Click to find an Orange County dog bite lawyer
As previously reported in the Orange County Register, Disney security dogs are considered cast members along with their handlers as they patrol and search visitors at entry ways during screening.
After the security dog allegedly bit Perez, his daughter escorted him to the hospital while his wife and two granddaughters decided to continue their Disneyland visit.
“Disney needs to adequately train their employees and their dogs and not use ones that are going to bite people,” Pancer said in an interview. “I can’t say how you train a dog to not bite a grandpa, but I’m sure there’s a way to do it.”
Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Pancer, who alleges Disney is under strict liability, wants a jury trial so that damages can be determined by proof at trial. The lawsuit blames the handler for causing the dog to bite Perez’s stomach after Perez bumped into the dog.
“In California, strict liability means the owner of a dog is liable to someone who has been bitten by their dog regardless of negligence,” Pancer said. “Yes, we’ve alleged negligence, but we’ve also alleged a claim for strict liability because we don’t have to prove negligence.”
The strict liability doctrine allows a defendant to be held accountable for placing a product on the market that causes injury to a person.
“My client is traumatized by this,” Pancer added. “It’s a very traumatic experience for an 82-year-old guy. He is now scared to leave the house and to encounter dogs.”
Photo courtesy: HenningE
Juliette Fairley covers legal topics for various publications including the Southern California Record, the Epoch Times and Pacer Monitor-News. Prior to discovering she had an ease and facility for law, Juliette lived in Orange County and Los Angeles where she pursued acting in television and film.