Tiger attack survivors file claim,
Seek “unlimited” damages

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News

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Published on March 28, 2008 with No Comments

By Luke Thomas

March 28, 2008

A lawyer representing two victims of a Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo filed a civil claim Wednesday against the City of San Francisco.

Filed by Geragos and Geragos attorney Shepard Kopp representing brothers Amritpal Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulibar Dhaliwal, 23, the claim alleges the city was negligent in its “responsibility to the public to prevent injury by dangerous animals at the zoo.”

The Dhaliwals are seeking “unlimited” financial damages.

The claim also alleges the Dhaliwals were subjected to a “smear campaign” by public relations firm Singer and Associates hired by the zoo, seeking damages for “defamation, libel and slander.”

On December 25, Tatiana, a 250-pound Siberian tiger, managed to escape her grotto fatally mauling Carlos Sousa Jr., 17, and injuring the Dhaliwal brothers before being shot dead by police.

An investigation following the attack revealed the height of the tiger grotto’s moat wall was below national standards. The zoo subsequently rectified the safety deficiency and reopened the zoo following its two-month closure.

“We’re reviewing the claim, investigating the facts and looking at our options,” City Attorney spokesperson Alexis Thompson told Fog City Journal.

The City has up to to 45 days to consider the claim for settlement or denial after which the claimants have six months to file a civil lawsuit against the city.

Copy of claim available here.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Seek “unlimited” damages
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