The 44-year-old Northfield Township woman whose poodle-mix, Zoey, was killed while being attacked by two other dogs has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the owners and the manufactured home community where the attack occurred, court records show
Both Ellen Mohan and her boyfriend, Donald Ashcraft, are listed as plaintiffs on the suit, which was filed Sept. 5 in the Washtenaw County Trial Court.
Ashcraft was walking with Mohan and 3-year-old Zoey through Northfield Estates in July when they were attacked by two dogs, a Rhodesian ridgeback-boxer mix and a pit bull.
Zoey suffered fatal injuries.
“Her intestines were torn open and exposed,” the lawsuit alleges. “She was bleeding profusely.”
Mohan, who tried to intervene, also suffered significant injuries to her hands that landed her in the hospital for several days.
The suit lists 26-year-old Adam Bater, the dog’s owner, 54-year-old Douglas Bater, his father, Skylar Baily and Northfield Estates as the defendants.
The three lived at a residence on Diamond Circle in Northfield Estates with the two dogs, Bronx, a Rhodesian ridgeback-boxer mix, and Dakota, a pit bull.
Mohan and Ashcraft live on the same street. As they were walking Zoey the evening of July 17, Zoey, who weighed about 15 pounds, stopped to sniff something.
Around that time, Douglas Bater opened the front door, allowing Bronx and Dakota out of the house.
Mohan said Bronx approached Zoey and started sniffing her, but that what happened next is a blur. First Bronx, then Dakota attacked Zoey. Mohan said she tried grabbing Zoey to save her, and her hands were severely bitten in the process..
Adam Bater is charged for having an unlicensed dog and his father faces a charge of letting the dogs stray, both misdemeanors.
The two men are not scheduled to be arraigned until Sept. 26 in the 14A-1 District Court in Chelsea.
A district court judge ruled earlier this month that the dogs are to be put down for violating the state’s dangerous animal statute. It’s unclear whether that’s happened yet. The Baters’ attorney, Michelle Radloff, did not return a call for comment but said in an email that the dogs are still alive.
Mohan acknowledged the lawsuit, but said she also didn’t want to comment on the pending litigation.
A message left with Northfield Estates wasn’t returned.
The company is named in the suit for not complying with its own rules regarding dangerous pets. According to the lawsuit, a rule states that the management has the right to “refuse certain breeds,” specifically bull terriers, Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls) and Rottweilers.
Residents are supposed to check with management before keeping any of those types of breeds. The suit claims Northfield Estates was negligent for not enforcing the laws.
The suit seeks $1 million for “pain, suffering, fright, shock, outrage, emotional upset, as well as physical injuries.”
The defendants have until Dec. 5 to respond.