According to the negligence lawsuit filed by Harris's personal injury attorney, Maggie attacked Harris "without provocation and warning." And when Robin offered to take Harris to the hospital, Dr. Phil told his wife not to because it would create "unnecessary" bad press. Instead, Harris was prescribed antibiotics privately (through a nurse friend who knew a physician), but the next day her arm was swollen.
Harris then had to get a tetanus shot and IV antibiotics after an infectious disease specialist diagnosed her with pastuerella multocida, the most common cause of infection from animal injuries. (Although common, this disease can be life-threatening; it can infect the respiratory tract and even cause meningitis.)
But her health problems escalated. Harris claims she developed hypersensitivity to the antibiotics and—according to her lawsuit—suffered "permanent side effects, including nearly total hearing loss in her right ear and a right hand tremor, amongst others, which have hindered her ability to work and forced her to close her Beverly Hills skincare clinic." Apparently a photograph obtained by radaronline.com shows a puncture on Harris's hand: her lawyers say this wound caused cellulitis and an infectious disease—"significant damage." The lawsuit alleges that the dog bite injury caused a serious infection that would have been fatal if Harris had not been placed on antibiotics within 72 hours.
"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," said her attorney. Harris is seeking an unspecified monetary amount in damages, including all medical-related expenses.
According to RadarOnline, Maggie the Jindo (a dog that is well known for its unwavering loyalty and gentle nature) hasn't yet been reprimanded, even though there have been former victims. Maggie has attacked on four separate occasions and there are at least two more victims besides Harris.
READ MORE LOS ANGELESE PREMISES LIABILITY LEGAL NEWS
California law states that the animal owner is typically contacted through a quarantine notice informing them within 10 days they can't take the animal off their property and if it becomes ill they need to notify authorities immediately. The owners are also requested to submit a rabies certificate attesting to their animal's health. According to radaronline.com, several letters were sent to the McGraws, but Harris doesn't know if they followed up—either with the certificate or behavior modification training.
Meanwhile, Dr. Phil's attorneys are demanding that the lawsuit be dismissed because it's in violation of an agreement to arbitrate any disputes. Stay tuned…