Attorneys for a 63-year-old Torrington woman who was mauled by a Doberman pinscher while volunteering at the Meriden Humane Society in 2014 have settled the case for $362,500.
Marlene Wall was attacked in an office at the privately owned facility by one of the owners’ private pets after addressing two other dogs that had been play fighting, according to attorney Lawyer A. Twillie II, of the Haymond Law Firm.
A lawsuit filed in New Haven Superior Court in June 2016 initially listed the humane society as a defendant, but the facility was removed from an amended complaint at Wall’s request. Twillie said his client did not believe the humane society itself was at fault, just the offending dog’s owners.
Twillie said Wall had not initially seen the 10-year-old male Doberman named Einstein, but assumed the dog was sleeping under a desk in the office. The dog, which was not leashed, was euthanized after the incident.
“She told the two mutts to stop when—out of nowhere—came this Doberman,” Twillie said Tuesday. “The Doberman latched onto her arm and hand and would not let go.”
Wall, who managed to free herself and kick the door shut, said the attack lasted about one minute. “She was lucky to get out of that room alive as there was no one else in the room with her,” Twillie said.
Twillie said Marlena Morris, the society’s director at the time, and her husband, David, owned Einstein. Marlena Morris brought Einstein to work for about three months before the attack, Twillie said.
Wall, a veterinary technician who still volunteers at the facility, suffered bites to her left arm and hand and a bruise on her left hip. She has permanent scarring on her left middle finger. She underwent two hand surgeries as a result of the injuries, which contributed to $25,000 in medical bills, Twillie said. The attorney added that Wall suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.
The agreement took about 90 minutes to hammer out Monday with the assistance of New Haven Superior Court Judge James W. Abram, Twillie noted. Attorney Harrison Robbins-Pesce of the Mills Law Firm initially offered $250,000 on behalf of the Morrises, Wall initially sought $420,000.
The settlement will be paid by Allstate, the Morrises’ homeowners insurance provider, Twillie said.
Robbins-Pesce did not respond to a request for comment.