Skip to comments.$1.5 million suit filed in the library cat case
Posted on 11/29/2001 1:25:19 AM PST by 2Trievers
ESCONDIDO -- Richard Espinosa, whose assistance dog allegedly was attacked by the Public Library's pet cat last year, filed a lawsuit against the city yesterday seeking $1.5 million in damages.
Espinosa alleges in his suit, which he prepared himself and filed in Superior Court in Vista, that his rights as a disabled person as well as his civil rights were violated.
Espinosa, who lives in Vista, was a reporter for the North County Times when the incident occurred Nov. 16, 2000. In his 13-page suit, Espinosa says he suffers from anxiety attacks and that his California-certified assistance dog accompanies him to help him deal with them.
Espinosa says he was on assignment when he and Kimba, a Labrador mix that weighs about 50 pounds, entered the library and the cat attacked his dog. The cat, called L.C. for library cat, often sat on a pillow near the entrance.
Espinosa says the library had a sign that said "No Animals" except guide dogs, which violated his right and those of others who use assistance dogs to enter the city library.
Espinosa also alleges that a library administrator and a patron chastised him for ignoring the sign and bringing Kimba into the library and that police did not promptly respond to his call for assistance.
Before officers arrived, Espinosa left to take Kimba to a veterinarian, who charged $46.49 for the treatment, according to a claim Espinosa filed with the city in May.
Espinosa says in his suit that he "suffers life-threatening anaphylactic reactions when exposed to cats" and that the city caused him "to come into an unknown and very dangerous and unsafe situation striking terror in (him) and causing him lasting physical and emotional injury" and permanent damage to his dog.
He contends the city violated both the California Disabled Act of 1990 and the California Unruh Civil Rights Act by its "continuing policy of putting the welfare of their dangerous cat above people with disabilities."
In the suit, Espinosa, says he has been diagnosed with many disorders, including bilateral pulmonary emboli, asthma, diabetes, gout and, more recently, with chronic pain syndrome, borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In May, L.C. attacked a terrier outside the library. A few days after that incident, City Librarian Laura Mitchell put the 12-pound cat on an "indefinite vacation" at the home of a library employee.
L.C. was a kitten when it was donated to the library by a homeless woman in 1994.
John Berhman: (760) 752-6730;
Hahahaha ... Hope FLEA Bailey takes this case, pro bono.
Wow, hypochondriac much?
Um ok. Am I the only one who looks at that list and wonders how many drugs...err...medications he's on?
"Espinosa says in his suit that he 'suffers life-threatening anaphylactic reactions when exposed to cats'" and he took the dog to the vet (Newsflash: there might be CATS at the vet!). For "treatment", did the dog get prozac?
I admit this makes me glad I just served jury duty. :)
Sometimes the jokes write themselves.
Couldn't have happened in a better state.
I do agree with your sentiments totally though.
LOL How did this old thread get resurrected? You're too funny! LOL
I'd say he's telling the truth about this,if about nothing else.
Personally,I think it's a damn shame the cat didn't kick HIS ass too,while she was warmed-up.
OK, I promise to quit my day job to better research this stuff! LOL &;-)
FLEA Bailey was his lawyer?
"Please don't quit your day job! I'm the one who needs to get a life...."
You too? LOL
"By the way, the second link in my post above really is quite funny!"
It is great! And Teesdale addressing it, is even funnier. Glad even the "finest" stoop to our level once in a while!