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Dr. Phil Bites Back Against Dog Bite Lawsuit

Dr. Phil dog bite lawsuit

It’s enough to send Dr. Phil to the therapist’s couch.

TV therapist and Oprah BFF, Dr. Phil McGraw is fighting back against a negligence lawsuit that claims his dog allegedly attacked and injured a former best friend.

In the court documents filed by his legal team, Dr. Phil’s attorneys are demanding that the lawsuit, filed February 2 by Janet Harris, be dismissed because it’s in violation of an agreement to arbitrate any disputes.

Harris claims she was brutally mauled by Dr. Phil and wife Robin McGraw’s dog, Maggie, a purebred Korean Jindo, at their Beverly Hills mansion without warning or provocation in late 2009. Her lawsuit seeks compensation for medical treatment costs, general damages, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.?
“Dr. Phil’s response to the complaint exhibits his arrogance which is consistent with the unconscionable manner in which he’s treated Janet Harris since the day she was bitten by Maggie,” says Larry Nagelberg, a founding partner of Nagelberg Bernard Law Group who is representing Harris.

Harris was frequently featured on Dr. Phil’s talk show as a skin care specialist and became a close confidant of the McGraws. Her lawsuit contends that she traveled with the McGraws for business and pleasure, and also spent holidays with them.

But all of that changed when Harris visited the McGraw’s Beverly Hills home in late 2009 and Maggie, their Korean Jindo, allegedly attacked Harris.

Harris states in her filing that the dog bit her right hand and arm so hard she bled.

According to the complaint, Robin McGraw offered to take Harris to the hospital, but Dr. Phil instructed his wife not to because it would create “unnecessary” bad press and he wanted to handle it privately.

In lieu of seeking medical treatment at a hospital, Harris was prescribed antibiotics by a physician through a nurse friend, but the next day her arm became swollen, the documents state.

The lawsuit claims that after getting a Tetanus shot, Harris was forced to take IV antibiotics and had to see an infectious disease specialist who diagnosed her with pastuerella multocida — a disease caused by an animal bite.

Harris says in her lawsuit that the dog bite injury caused the infection and that it would have been fatal if she had not been placed on antibiotics within 72 hours. The lawsuit further states that her medical conditions hindered her ability to work and she was subsequently evicted and forced to close her Beverly Hills clinic.

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Outofthedoghouse
Outofthedoghouse
9 years ago

OMG, I get bit all the time as I am a dog groomer, and I am a human so I bleed. Put on your big girl panties and stop a nonsense law suit.
Give me a break.

Gianna0526
Gianna0526
9 years ago

That’s what I was thinking too Outofthedoghouse, if she was in so much pain with such an extreme injury, she should have absolutely sought medical attention immediately no matter what that balding, bloated assclown had to say.

LMO378
LMO378
9 years ago

Can you say money hungry. Bet if this dog belonged to just an ordinary person we wouldn’t have even heard of this lawsuit.

Thedancingchihauhua
Thedancingchihauhua
9 years ago

I agree. She needs to suck it up. People get bit a lot, and like Ceaser Millan says, it all has to do with the energy you project to the dog. If she was afraid of the dog to begin with, or uncertain in any way, that would cause the dog to see her as weak, and therefore it tried to dominate her by biting. I am also of the belief that any time you get bit by an animal, no matter the species, It Is Your Fault, NOT the Animal’s.

JasonK
JasonK
9 years ago

I think people are being a bit quick to be dismissive. The energy you project is not exactly admissible as evidence. The point is that pet owners have to have their pets under control and some breeds are more aggressive than others. I’m taking sides, just saying that this isn’t automatically a frivolous lawsuit.

Angelahimm
Angelahimm
9 years ago

Its not the person that gets bit, its the owner of the dog that did the biting!. No one expects any animal to bite them. Owners need to take responsibility of their pets. If they know their animal will behave badly, take control

Tamandra Michaels
9 years ago

Yes, this is silly, if you know dogs. I picture a slight nip with slight bleeding. Infection is definitely possible, though. But Thedancingchi…
I respectfully disagree, and I do not drink Cesar’s kool-aid. Just being uncertain is not going to cause the vast majority of dogs to even think of biting, nor of “dominating” you, or even see you as weak. You see uncertainty when two dogs meet all the time, and it doesn’t cause an attack with your average dog. We all, all species, have varying levels of confidence, even in different situations. Dogs know we are not other dogs. Dogs are not wolves. Even in wolves, the “alpha” is the parents and the pack is made up of mostly familial relationships.

Cjustpeachie
Cjustpeachie
9 years ago

MY CAT RIPPED MY FACE APART AND I’M NOT SUING MYSELF!! IT WAS MY FAULT!! IF SHE SPENT THAT MUCH TIME WITH THEM, SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THE DOG WELL ENOUGH TO KNOW IF HE WOULD BITE OR NOT. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!! WHAT KIND OF A CLINIC CLOSES DOWN BECAUSE THE OWNER IS BIT BY A DOG??

Kenn Bell
9 years ago
Reply to  Cjustpeachie

You should try to not type in ALL CAPS. it’s easier for others to read. Thanks! : )

Angelahimm
Angelahimm
9 years ago
Reply to  Cjustpeachie

If you cat ripped your face apart….time for you to get rid of your cat. A pet should not attack its owner. If they do, there is a huge problem…!!!!

DoxieLuvr
DoxieLuvr
9 years ago

he should take responsibility for his dog…pay for her medical bills BUT THAT’S IT!!!

Angelahimm
Angelahimm
9 years ago

I agree with ‘outofthedoghouse’…I have been grooming for 12 years not….get your rabies shot, and get over it. All owners should own up to their dogs behavior. But its not the breed of the dog, but the breed of the owner. Take responsibility and get over it…!!

Outofthedoghouse
Outofthedoghouse
9 years ago

I think her losing her clinic over a small bite is going a bit too far. If she was that badly injured I am sure she would have sought emergency care, and gotten the police involved, not wait and then call upon lawyers. JMO, but it sounds like she just wants the money, and is looking for a way out of the agreement she had with the dogs owners. If it was a regular person’s dog, would she be suing for all the
se damages? If she was a friend of Phil & Robin, she is in the money, and likely looking for more!

guest
guest
9 years ago

I agree that Dr. Phil and his wife are responsible for the legitimate medical bills, because that is what any dog owner would be responsible for. They probably didn’t consider that a more sever infection sometimes occurs with puncture wounds and I can see how a prominent celebrity couple would want to protect their dog – many dog owners would want to do the same, even if it was an error in judgment not to insist that the woman be treated immediately at the ER. However, this woman is not entitled to whatever is in Dr. Phil’s “deep pockets” and should not be a greedy bitc& just because she got bitten by a dog.

Terry Pride
9 years ago

it is possible for a minor bite to become dangerously infected –
that said, such infections are far, far more likely from cats’ bites or scratches, vs dogs’.

there was a case a few years ago when an older-woman was bitten on the thumb by a neighbor’s Rott, while giving the dog a treat; she DID go for medical attn, but **lied** about the cause of the injury, claiming it was from a trowel blade while gardening; less than 72-hours later, she was found dead –
of a fast-spreading, aggressive infection from that small wound. [California]
“not wanting to get the dog in trouble” is IMO a helluva poor reason to die; the bite was an accident, to a thin-skinned elder adult – no one would have demanded the Rott be euthanized, he was a very friendly, sociable dog.

take home message – DON’T LIE about bites; DON’T DELAY medical treatment.
and owners must be responsible for their pets: confine, control or make good on liability.

safety first,
– terry pride, APDT-Aus, apdt#1827, CVA, TDF
‘dogs R dogs, wolves R wolves, and primates R us.’
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ tmp, Sept-2004

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