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Dangerous dog lawsuit

Failure to warn of dangerous dog’s history

College student Mia Keller, 19, went to Chippewa County’s animal shelter to help a friend adopt a therapy dog. Clerk Lauryn Pavlat allowed Keller and her friend to take a bullmastiff outside for a walk. After Keller and her friend took the dog to an off-leash area, Keller attempted to put the animal’s leash back on. The dog attacked Keller, who suffered bites and lacerations to her right, dominant arm. She underwent six surgeries, including skin grafting and plastic surgery, and now has pain and limitations in the arm. Her medical expenses totaled more than $45,000.

Keller sued Pavlat and another shelter employee, Wayne Scharrer, who had allegedly spoken to Keller and her friend about the dog. The plaintiff alleged the defendants were grossly negligent in failing to warn about the dog’s history of physical and sexual abuse, as well as its history of biting. The defense denied that the dog was aggressive.

The parties settled at mediation for $600,000.

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