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.