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Matt Gaetz's dog bites man, Gaetz gets sued

From the Associated Press: 

A Florida legislator has been sued over his pet dog biting someone in the face at a restaurant located near the state Capitol.

Christopher Kent filed a lawsuit last week in Leon County against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. Gaetz is the son of Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and recently held a lengthy legislative hearing over a proposal to repeal the state's contentious "stand your ground" law.

Kent's lawsuit alleges that Gaetz's dog bit him last May. The lawsuit contends the dog bite left Kent in pain, disfigured and with injuries that ultimately forced him to withdraw from law school. He said part of the reason he quit the University of Michigan is that the treatment has forced him to take antibiotics that cause stomach problems.

The lawsuit asks for payment of medical bills and damages connected to the bite, but it does not list an amount.

Gaetz on Monday acknowledged that his dog, Scarlet, did bite someone. Gaetz said he does not know the dog's breed because he rescued the 55-to-60-pound dog from a shelter about six years ago.

But he said he was unaware of the lawsuit until reached by a reporter. He said that he thought Kent's attorney was trying to discuss the issue with his insurance company.

Gaetz would not discuss any details about what happened.

"We have a system that allows the courts to make those decisions," said Gaetz, who is chairman of the House Criminal Justice subcommittee.

David Frank, the attorney representing Kent, declined to answer questions about the lawsuit.

Comments

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Diane

Animals are motivated by the energies that humans emit. Did Mr. Kent come on a little too negative to the dog? We can't blame a dog for the actions of a human. Maybe humans ought to learn about the animal world before they approach animals, eh? They don't speak English....only energy and body language. I would not hold the animal accountable if it has not been aggressive in the past. He was most likely defending his space in the light of an unwanted approach by a nervous person that may have been sending out a message that intimidated a dog. Human error in this case should be taken into consideration.

James

Oh they speak "energy"? Please tell me how they measure this with empirical evidence, not your petco knowledge. It's human error on the owner's fault for not teaching it discipline. And if it was disciplined in that manner, then I would understand which would make it the owners fault. Unless he went to the owners residence and disturbed, you can't take a dangerous dog into public in which anyone could be a victim. I'm sure that if a toddler approached it and it got bitten, you would also say that the "toddler emitted bad energy and or body language"?

toni

What a double standard. I guess being politically connected in Florida makes the difference in Florida dog bite laws. Go to face book page Save Buck and Bill from being killed and see how other animals that bite in Florida are treated when their owners aren't connected to powerful political families.

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