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Torrington Woman Secures $362,500 Settlement Following Dog Attack

[caption id="attachment_7792" align="aligncenter" width="620"]

Doberman dog
Doberman dog

Doberman pinscher. Credit: Shutterstock.[/caption] Attorneys for a 63-year-old Torrington woman attacked by a Doberman pinscher while volunteering at the Meriden Humane Society in 2014 have settled the case for $362,500. Marlene Wall was attacked by the Doberman, whose owner was the humane society's director, after she tried to stop two dogs from play fighting in an office, according to Lawyer A. Twillie II, Wall's attorney. A lawsuit was filed in New Haven Superior Court in June 2016. The humane society was originally listed as a defendant, but was removed from the amended complaint at Wall's request. Twillie said his client did not believe the humane society itself was at fault, just the dogs owners. Twillie, of the Haymond Law Firm in Hartford, said Wall did not see the 10-year-old male Doberman named Einstein, but assumed it was sleeping under the desk in the office. The dog was not leashed. "She told the two mutts to stop when, out of nowhere, came this Doberman," Twillie said Tuesday. "The Doberman latched on to her arm and hand and would not let go." Wall, who managed to free herself and kick the door shut, said the attack lasted about one minute. "She was lucky to get out of that room alive as there was no one else in the room with her," Twillie said. Twillie said Marlena Morris, the society's director at the time, and her husband, David, owned Einstein. Marlena Morris brought Einstein to work for about three months before the attack, Twillie said. There was no evidence the dog was aggressive, Twillie said, but some employees and volunteers believed he was being brought to the humane society because the owners were not comfortable leaving Einstein home unsupervised around other animals. The dog was euthanized after the attack. [caption id="attachment_7785" align="alignleft" width="199"]

Lawyer A. Twillie II of Hartford-based The Haymond Law Firm.
Lawyer A. Twillie II of Hartford-based The Haymond Law Firm.

Lawyer A. Twillie II of Hartford-based The Haymond Law Firm.[/caption] Wall, who still volunteers at the facility, suffered bites to her left arm, left hand and a bruise on her left hip. Wall has permanent scarring on her left middle finger. Wall underwent two surgeries, Twillie said. The first was to remove a part of her bone in her left middle finger and the second was to help her better grasp with her left hand. Wall, who is a veterinary technician in Torrington, also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, Twillie said. Wall incurred about $25,000 in medical expenses. The case was settled Monday, eight days before trial, with the help of New Haven Superior Court Judge James W. Abrams, Twillie said. The first offer by Morrises' attorney, Harrison Robbins-Pesce, was for $250,000. The original demand from Wall was for $420,000. The two sides met with Abrams for 90 minutes before reaching an agreement, Twillie said. Robbins-Pesce, of the Mills Law Firm in New Haven, did not respond to a request for comment. The settlement will be paid by Allstate, Morrises' homeowners insurance provider, within the next three weeks, Twillie said.