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Monkey Bite Animal Injury, Dog Bite

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by upny, Sep 5, 2001.

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  1. upny

    upny Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Upstate New York:

    While picking up our dog from a local kennel a Capousion (sp?) Monkey bit my 3 yr old. Working with the owners and the county health department the monkey was isolated for 10 days and observed for sign of rabies. Luckly this was not a problem. However, New World monkeys can carry a number of other infections. So we requested that the owners mail our family doctor an up-to-date health record on their animal. The owner have no current documentation for their animal. We then requested that then monkey be given a physical and blood work up so that we may finaly know for certain that there is no further risk to our child. However, the owners have not complied.

    What are my legal options?
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    First, how did the monkey bite your child? If there was negligence involved by the kennel, you may want to get an attorney involved regarding compensation for your costs at the very least. This may simply have been an accident with no negligence. You probably should send a letter, certified return receipt, demanding the reasonable cooperation or else you will need to take further action which will prevent both of you from amicably dealing with this situation. Put the owner on notice in this fashion.

    You may want to work with the kennel and authorities to determine what law requires regarding the custody of an animal such as a monkey. While I don't think the monkey is a "wild animal" as set forth under state law, there may also be other regulations that would be applicable. Local authorities should be able to point you in the right governmental direction if the kennel owner doesn't. This is probably a more desireable approach that may yield results more quickly and less costly.
     
  3. upny

    upny Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Monkey Bite, Upstate New York

    I feel that negligence could be supported here as the owners allowed this animal "free run" of their property. I think this is especially true since this is a business and the owners were called prior to our arrival. The monkey basicly "came at " my son without provacation. The monkey also "came at" my older son but was stopped by kennel staff. The owners describe the behavior as territorial as the Monkey feels threaten be small children. The bite was not sever and healed quickly.

    We have sustained the "cost" of worry and concern for our child which has been considerable. Because of this I have spoken to several experts on primates who have calmed some of our fears. The actual circumstances surrounding the monkey and the owners "life style" is benificial in terms of the risk of infections, but we want a confirmation of good health from an experienced "exotic" Vet.
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    The expense involved in a small pain and suffering incident is significant and the recovery may not worth the investment -- although I don't doubt how much stress it much have placed and continues to place upon you. It seems that you have spoken to others who probably stated something similar.

    Perhaps a good idea is to use your leverage of potential suit against the kennel owner to your advantage since the owner may be in the best position to obtain the records and also is in the position to be sued in the event you have to go through more significant expenditures of time and money simply to obtain the reasonable assurances that your child is, in fact, not harmed. I would like to think that they would agree to cooperate 110% since it seems that it was their responsibility to ensure safety in the presence their animal. It seems that even the one free bite rule for the monkey like there is for dogs would not apply to these monkeys because the kennel owner admits knowledge of a monkey's propensities to act in a territorial fashion as a breed. Hope this helps.
     
  5. upny

    upny Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Monkey Bite, Upstate New York

    Thank you for your support. I have spoken to a variety of state officials including USDA, New York State Health Dept., and Encon. Each agency said there is no legal mechanism in their office to force the owners of the monkey to give us a current and complete record of its health. So, if I pursue this further I need a lawyer. What is my next move to apply pressuer? A letter? or a law suit?

    Thanks
     
  6. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems like everyone missed this post! Legal recourse can get you what you want although it may cost something. Starting with a lawyer's letter might be a good idea and cost effective. The other party usually realizes that you mean business and their failure to reasonably cooperate will cost them dearly -- and it should. Most disputes do not end up in prolonged suits -- they settle. Here, a letter might get you there from a good attorney.
     

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