The mother of 5 year old Gabriella has filed a $1.1 Million dollar lawsuit against the Port of Portland, Alaskan Airlines and Michelle Brannan for letting a dangerous “emotional support animal” into the airport without a carrier. The suits claims Brannon should have known her dog had vicious propensities. The suit also alleges both the airline and airport are at fault for allowing Brannan to bring a dangerous dog into the gate waiting area without a carrier…a dog that wasn’t properly trained as a service dog or properly confined.
With Brannan the dog owners consent, Gabriella began petting the dog who unexpectedly attacked her and punctured her eyelid, severed her tear duct, lacerated her face and tore her lip. The little girl has undergone surgery and visible scars remain. The dogs owner couldn’t be reached for comment and Alaskan Airlines has refused comment. A spokesman for the airport explained that officials can ask someone travelling with a dog if it is a trained service animal and declined to comment if that step was taken. Airport rules say emotional support animals are required to be in a carrier when passing through an airport and if the animal is too large for a carrier the animal must be on leash within 3 feet of the owner. The owner was cited when it was determined the animal would have fit in a carrier.
The airlines policy states trained service animals as well as emotional support animals fly free of charge and they welcome trained service and support animals. The airline doesn’t require that emotional support animals fly in a carrier and even the website says a leash is acceptable. The lawsuit is seeking $100,000 for past and future medical costs, including the costs of surgery and $1 million for the girls’ pain and suffering.
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