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News & Current Events Discuss San Fran Zoo Settles with Tiger Attack Duo at the General Forum; Tiger attack: San Jose brothers receive $900,000 settlement from San Francisco Zoo Two San Jose brothers who were injured by ...

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:11 PM
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Post San Fran Zoo Settles with Tiger Attack Duo

Tiger attack: San Jose brothers receive $900,000 settlement from San Francisco Zoo

Two San Jose brothers who were injured by a Siberian tiger that fatally mauled a friend at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day 2007 will receive $900,000 in a settlement of their civil suit against the zoo.

Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal had claimed the zoo was negligent in having a substandard enclosure that allowed the 250-pound tiger to escape and attack them after killing their 17-year-old friend, Carlos Sousa Jr. of San Jose. Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal could not be reached for comment Friday.

Their attorney, Mark Geragos, said the Dhaliwal brothers are "pleased and happy to put" the case behind them.

A separate suit against the Zoological Society by the Sousa family was settled earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.

The settlements may finally quell the controversy that attracted attention around the world, prompted criticism from a national accrediting group — but no loss of accreditation — and likely contributed to the resignation of the zoo's director six months after Tatiana escaped her grotto and attacked the San Jose men before being shot to death by San Francisco police.

As originally filed in November, the suit by the Dhaliwals blamed city and zoo officials for their injuries and also sought damages for defamation in the highly publicized aftermath of the attack. The complaint was amended just two weeks ago to seek additional claims, alleging that San Francisco attempted to bully the Dhaliwals into dropping their plans for a suit by threatening to arrest them for manslaughter in the death of their friend, Sousa.

In the court papers filed May 15, Geragos wrote that he received thousands of new documents of discovery from the city, police and zoo officials on May 12 and 13. After reviewing those new documents, Geragos said he determined that "it is now abundantly clear that the City of San Francisco Police Department's threat to file involuntary manslaughter charges" against the Dhaliwals in the death of their friend "was a ruse to dissuade them from pursuing an action."

Reached by phone Friday, Geragos said the arrest warrant was never issued because "a very professional police officer refused to be cowed or bullied" and would not go along with the plan.

But Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, said: "Had this gone to trial, those allegations would have been nonstarters."

I doubt those allegations would have been nonstarters.
If the jury had swung towards awarding the two money, it would have added $$$ to the total amount.

I can't help but wonder what the dollar amount would have been if the wall had been higher.

Unfortunately, the zoo's hands were not pristine. A couple of factors change (wall height, zoo personnel response), and the action of these three would have been more prevailing.
I have no doubt that they provoked the animal.
I am surprised that the settlement was so large. I would think a settlement should be less than the projected/predicted jury amount, with possible "disclosure" factors being a part of that.
I would have thought a settlement would be for much less than that.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:21 PM
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Exclamation Re: San Fran Zoo Settles with Tiger Attack Duo

Had their name been Smith, Jones or O'Houllihan, the Tigers and San Fran would have prevailed, but a suit in San Fran by Gay Mexicans will trump even Mother Nature!! They provoked the attack!! I have been to many Zoos and NEVER have any Big Cats, goriilas, wolves or bears, ever made a menacing look or approach my way, as I respect them, I respect the signs and they sense NO hostility from me!!
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