Defendant bites back in Aspen dog-attack suit
One of the parties a victim is trying to hold legally responsible for her dog-bite injuries has filed court documents insisting it had nothing to do with the incident.
Ajax Technologies is the site where a German shepherd bit the left hand of plaintiff Linda Hassall in February 2016. Also a defendant in Hassall’s lawsuit, which she filed in April in Pitkin County District Court, Ajax Technologies argued in its formal response that Hassall was trespassing when she was bitten and the dog’s owner also was at fault.
The 21-page response was introduced last week as part of the case file.
While Ajax Technologies’ reply conceded that Hassall was the victim of a dog bite — her suit says she has undergone multiple medical procedures on her wrist — it argued it should be dismissed from the case.
It instead casts the blame on Hassall for entering Ajax Technologies because she “was not lawfully on the premises at the time of the incident,” the response says.
Hassall’s complaint says she worked for a business at 555 N. Mill St. and dropped off some misplaced mail to Ajax Technologies at the time of the incident. Unprovoked, the German shepherd bit her, the suit alleges, noting that the dog was euthanized after the attack.
The response from Ajax Technologies, however, says the dog’s owner, Daniel Rave, who also is a defendant, was a contract worker for Ajax and had been told to not bring his dog to the business. Rave also had left the dog unattended at the time of the attack, the response says.
Even so, the canine did not pose a “danger to the public or plaintiff until plaintiff intentionally entered the premises and then once inside continued to remain inside the premises without due regard for her own safety or well-being,” the response says.
Ajax also filed a cross-claim against Rave, saying he “knowingly and intentionally violated this direct order by bringing his dog on the premises without notice, warning, consent or knowledge of Ajax Technologies LLC and then by leaving his dog within the premises unattended without notice or knowledge of Ajax Technologies LLC.”
Rave currently lives in Florida and has not been reachable for comment. Hassall, who is represented by Aspen attorney Jeff Wertz, also previously declined comment.
The third and fourth defendants, Pyramid Property Advisors and building owner North Mill Street Investors, have yet to file a response to the complaint.
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Marti Barbour was selected almost 20 years ago as the first recipient of a Habitat For Humanity house in the Roaring Fork Valley. She paid off her mortgage in June and recalled the dire times her family faced and the help that Habitat provided.