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San Francisco denies negligence claim in tiger mauling

By Chris Myers
Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 3:44 pm in Uncategorized.

By the San Jose Mercury News

The city and county of San Francisco has rejected a negligence and defamation claim filed by two San Jose brothers injured in the Christmas Day tiger attack.

“An investigation of your client’s claim filed with the City and County of San Francisco has revealed no indication of liability on the part of the City and County,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a letter to attorney Mark Geragos.

Geragos filed the claim in late March on behalf of Kulbir and Paul Dhaliwal, San Jose residents mauled by the Siberian tiger that killed their friend, 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr.

A claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.

In their claim, the brothers accused a public relations firm hired by the zoo of making false statements about them after the attack, but the claim didn’t give any details.

The brothers’ claim also says San Francisco and the zoo should have been able to prevent the escape of Tatiana, who was shot and killed by police after the attack.

At the time of the attack, the retaining wall in the tiger grotto was about 4 feet shorter than industry standards, and the zoo spent $1.7 million on safety renovations since the attack. A national group that accredits zoos concluded in a report that poor training and short staffing added to the tragedy.

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