Legal Blog: Motion Filed To Dismiss Kim Richards Dog Bite Lawsuit

Posted on Mar 31 2015 - 9:13am by Stacy Slotnick, Esq.

kim-richards-dog-attack

In the season five finale of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” producers conspicuously referred to a notorious dog bite incident involving Kim Richards’ beloved pit bull, Kingsley. The following blurb was positioned next to Kyle Richards’ image before the closing credits on last Tuesday’s episode: “Kim’s dog bit Kyle’s daughter, Alexia, requiring surgery. Kyle and Kim have not spoken since the incident.” Part one of the three-part reunion airs tonight.

Kyle & Kim dog bite RHOBH

It doesn’t take a Mensa member to appreciate the fact Bravo deliberately portrayed Kim’s dog on the season finale in a negative light to challenge Ellen Catherine Rozario’s (“Kay”) claims against Kim Richards and Evolution Film & Tape, Inc. (“Evolution”). Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles on December 12, 2014 (case number 2:14-cv-09540) and Evolution – the company that produces the ‘Real Housewives’ – filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint on March 13, 2015.

I ravenously devoured every last crumb of Plaintiff’s Amended Memorandum of Points And Authorities In Opposition To Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss Complaint (“opposition”) to bring All About the Tea posters newly exposed facts and legal arguments. A hearing is scheduled for April 6 in California federal court.  Note: All page numbers cited herein refer to Plaintiff’s opposition unless otherwise indicated.

READ: Kim Richards – Amended Memorandum of Points & Authorities In Opposition To Defendants Motion To D…

Who Is Kingsley

The crux of Kay’s argument is that Evolution and Kim represented to the public in several broadcasts that Kingsley was fun and not vicious, and she reasonably relied on said representation when making the decision to be around Kingsley. “Defendant Richards furthered the scheme of deception with Defendant Evolution of portraying the dog as gentle and not vicious by making representations to Plaintiff the dog was a ‘sweet, cuddly dog’ and ‘lovable,’” noted the Plaintiff on pg. 2. 

The architecture of a legal document is of critical importance. When a fragile fact is underlined at the outset, judges may be leery of everything that comes thereafter. The reason this fact is feeble is because those who watched the episodes featuring Kingsley viewed the dog’s temperament as nasty when he attacked the trainer and aggressively interacted with Kim’s children.  “Sweet” and “lovable” are probably the least precise words one could use to describe Kim’s dog based on the footage that aired.

No Neutral Witness, No Case  

One startling admission in Kay’s opposition is that the only witnesses to the attack were Kim and Kay. “Hearing the screams, Ms. Harris [Plaintiff’s daughter] rushed into the room” (pg. 2). This statement turns the case into a “She Said, She Said” situation in which Kim could argue Kay provoked the dog, which is a defense to California’s Dog Bite Statute.  Look out for a big battle of the witnesses.

California courts have denied recovery to victims who provoke a dog, negligently cause an attack, or assume the risk of a dog attack. In cases where a dog owner has told the victim to stay away from the dog, but the person advances towards the dog and is bitten, the dog owner is usually not held responsible because it is deemed that the victim unnecessarily provoked the dog in spite of being told not to. 

A jury who is charged with determining the credibility of a witness here will look to see whether Kay and Kim’s testimony at trial is inconsistent with their past testimony or statements; whether Kay and Kim appeared to recall events accurately; and whose testimony (Kay or Kim’s) was consistent with other evidence in the case.

You might be wondering whether the dog bite was caught on camera.  Remember, in order to be admissible in a court of law, video evidence has to undergo a strict handling procedure.  The party seeking to admit such proof must illustrate the name of whoever handles the evidence to show it was preserved in its original form and not tampered with in any way.  Said party must also demonstrate that the video was stored in a climate-controlled place to ensure that it was not altered in any way. If the handling procedure is not followed, the videotape may not be admissible. 

According to Kay, “On March 19, 2014, Plaintiff, her daughter Harris and her granddaughter were invited to spend the night by Defendant Richards at her residence. Some RHOBH [Plaintiff’s abbreviation for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”] segments with the dog were filmed in Defendant Richards’ residence” (pgs. 1-2).

Plaintiff does not say filming occurred on the next day, March 20, when Kim’s dog allegedly attacked her but such evidence would prove invaluable for it would demonstrate precisely what happened in Kim’s boudoir when Plaintiff was injured.

Dog Trainer Talks to TMZ 

Kay posits that the dog trainer, David Utter, has smoking gun evidence.  I don’t quite see it that way.  Kay claims Utter’s statements in a TMZ interview establish some of the elements of intentional misrepresentation and conspiracy committed by Evolution.  Utter allegedly told TMZ (pg. 6),

“Behind the scenes I was hired by Bravo to fix the dog’s aggression. In front of the camera the public was told I was working with the animal based on chewing sunglasses and shoes. They really failed to show how the dog, unprovoked, attacked me and came to rip my face off and I had no choice but to defend myself.”

Utter has not been deposed or subject to cross-examination. His statements do not buttress Plaintiff’s claim that she reasonably relied on a conspiracy devised by Evolution and Kim to intentionally misrepresent the dangers posed by Kingsley, which is an element Plaintiff must prove to win her case.

Bravo Contract 

If Evolution’s motion to dismiss is not granted, Kay says she will seek copies of all contracts between Kim and Evolution during discovery.  That could be a treasure trove of information we would love to review.  What do you think is provided for in those contracts?

Kay opines that the contract between Kim and Evolution requires Kim to not disclose events contained in the program, in the making of the program, and to not reveal information concerning or relating to the program (pg. 20). However, Evolution asserts that this is pretense as Kim’s activity at the time of the alleged bite was personal in nature and not related to her employment with Evolution.

Where’s Kim?

How many times did Kyle Richards intone, “Where’s Kim?”  Apparently Kim can be late and evade court processes.  On pg. 23, Kay claims Kim avoided being served with legal papers, as “ten attempts at service of the complaint were made upon Defendant Richards.  Defendant Richards was served on March 2, 2015.”  Though not relevant to Evolution’s Motion to Dismiss, Plaintiff is certainly attempting to show Kim shirks responsibility and displays a discourtesy and disrespect for legal proceedings.   

Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss  

Plaintiff has a weak case against Evolution based on the documentary evidence and facts presented thus far. Still, that does not mean Evolution will prevail on April 6. Generally speaking, the arguments raised in a motion to dismiss must be issues that the court can address without needing any evidence that doesn’t already appear in the complaint and the motion itself. 

We know based on Plaintiff’s opposition that Evolution has moved for dismissal of the intentional misrepresentation claim (including conspiracy) under Rule 12(b)(6). Defendant must meet a high burden to warrant dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint under the well-established rules governing FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.

“A complaint should not be dismissed unless it appears beyond doubt the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief.” Clegg v. Cult Awareness Network, 18 F.3d 752, 754 (9 Cir. 1994).  This is difficult even for Evolution since legal precedent provides that material allegations in Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint must be taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff.

Evolution should emphasize the flaws in Plaintiff’s conspiracy case and the “reliance” element of intentional misrepresentation (pg. 14). Reliance is not justifiable if another person of similar intelligence, education, or experience would not have relied on the alleged representation.  Would you have trusted the depiction ostensibly made by Evolution and Kim that Kingsley was “fun” and “sweet” when deciding to come into contact with the dog that eventually mauled you?

Grab your gavel, join the conversation, and let us know what you think about the latest twists and turns in this RHOBH dog bite saga. 

 

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About the Author

Stacy Slotnick, a.k.a. The Foxy Jurist, holds a J.D., cum laude, from Touro Law Center and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst Commonwealth Honors College. Stacy is the recipient of the Honors Deans Award; Simon and Satenig Ermonian Memorial Scholarship; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Opportunity Scholarship; and College of Humanities and Fine Arts Scholarship. She is also a William F. Field Alumni Scholar, an honor bestowed upon the most academically distinguished students. In law school, Stacy won two CALI Excellence For The Future Awards® and received an Achievement Scholarship. She is a member of the New York Bar. As an entertainment lawyer, Stacy counsels clients on contracts, branding, and public relations strategy. She negotiates with agents, producers, production companies, and lawyers to secure rights to projects on behalf of high-profile clients. Her clever, spirited, no holds barred legal analysis can be found in articles for The Huffington Post. * Facebook   * LinkedIn   * Twitter

  • Bad Barbie

    Does Kim still own this dog? If so, she wont see a problem till the dog really disfigures someone. If Kim handles this dog the same way she treats the other women on the show, I can see why Kingsley is aggressive.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Hi Bad Barbie. It has been reported that Kim sent her dog for extensive training back in November 2014. As of this month, it has reported she allowed her pit bull, Kingsley, back into her Los Angeles home.

      • Ilivehereandlikeit

        Stacey, why isn’t a governing city, county or state agency stepping in at this point and removing the dog from Kim’s home? Were they not informed by the doctors that treated 2 of the bite attack victims? I know this has nothing to do with the case you are presenting commentary on here but just curious since you mentioned that it was reported that Kingsley was back now with Kim. Thanks!!!

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thanks for the excellent query! I agree that it defies logic and goes against the public interest to have an owner maintain control over an animal that is clearly dangerous.

          In California, the owner of a dog that is considered a public menace may have the animal removed and impounded. The agency may file a petition with the Municipal Court when they believe a canine is dangerous to determine its disposition. Depending on the disposition of the dog the owner may be either forced to give up their pet or dispose of it and may be fined.

          Under California law, whenever a dog has bitten a human being on at least two separate occasions, as is the case here, any person, the district attorney, or city attorney may bring an action against the owner of the animal to determine whether conditions of the treatment or confinement of the dog or other circumstances existing at the time of the bites have been changed so as to remove the danger to other persons presented by the animal. This action shall be brought in the county where a bite occurred. The court, after hearing, may make any order it deems appropriate to prevent the recurrence of such an incident, including, but not limited to, the removal of the animal from the area or its destruction if necessary.

          • Ilivehereandlikeit

            Thank you Stacey for answering my question! It makes me wonder if there would then be any culpability on the part of local government agencies if no official investigation was ever done despite public knowledge of at least 2 bite incidents.

            Appreciate the reply 🙂

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Hi llivehereandlikeit! In your scenario,it is very difficult to go after the government. The government is judgment-proof in many instances. The authorities would have to do something extremely egregious in order to be held liable for failing to protect the public.

            A public entity, under California law, may have liability for a failure to perform a mandatory duty if….

            1. That Defendant violated [insert reference to statute, regulation, or ordinance];

            2. That Plaintiff was harmed; and

            3. That Defendant’s failure to perform its duty was a substantial factor in causing Plaintiff’s harm.

            Defendant, however, is not responsible for Plaintiff’s harm if Defendant proves that it made reasonable efforts to perform its duties under the [statute/regulation/ordinance].

            Thanks for the great question!

    • Elizabeth Fisher

      I don’t know about that. Kingsley practically chewed off Alexia’s hand requiring two surgeries, and Kim didn’t see it as a problem.

  • Jennymckitty

    I think a lot of this is going to depend on the definition of Reality TV. Is it viewed by the court as a documentary or as a heavily edited, partially real entertaining show? Also, when the trainer brought Kingsley home, I remember him being muzzled. That doesn’t exactly show Bravo depicting him as no longer being a threat.
    Why are they suing Evolution? More money or hopes that Evolution will help Kim settle out of court?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I completely agree. How can Plaintiff contend the depiction by Bravo of Kingsley was one of a “fun” and “playful” dog when it was muzzled and attacked the trainer? It’s a weak, baseless argument.

      Do you think Reality TV is more documentary or unscripted program?

      It is my humble belief that Evolution is a deep-pocket defendant, whereas Kim may not be, and so PL is trying to make the argument that Evolution misrepresented the dog’s disposition in a way that encouraged Kay to be around Kingsley. What do you think of PL’s argument?

      • Jennymckitty

        I think the majority of reality TV viewing audience sees these programs as heavily edited, producer driven, unscripted shows. I don’t think that the footage of Kingsley shown after her returned from the trainer showed Kingsley as completely safe abpnd free of aggressive impulses, hence the muzzle. Regardless, I remember the trainer telling Kim that she was going to have to adhere to the training plan at home. Kim was then shown immediately treating Kingsley as an equal and not taking the alpha role. I believe that she then said in her TH that she wasn’t going to stick to the plan. Assuming that the plaintiff felt that Bravo depicted the trainer as a miracle worker who cured Kingsley, the fact that Kim wasn’t going to stick with the training plan would negate that, would it not?

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Absolutely. If Kim said or showed on any episode of RHOBH that she wasn’t going to stick to the plan, that evidence would also negate the plaintiff’s claim that Bravo portrayed Kingsley in a positive light.

          • Jennymckitty

            IMHO, Kingsley is very owner aggressive. I know the trainer told Kim that Kingsley would no longer be allowed to sleep with her. Does anyone remember if they showed them in bed together or if Kim said Kingsley was still sleeping with her?

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Good question. Thoughts?

            Here is one possible answer to whether Kim continued to allow Kingsley to sleep with her and allow Kingsley on her bed AFTER David Utter (dog trainer) told her not to: on pg. 2 of the opposition, plaintiff asserts, “The next morning, Plaintiff was talking to Defendant Richards in her bedroom. Defendant Richards was lying on the bed next to the dog. Unprovoked, the dog jumped up, moved across the bed and viciously attacked Plaintiff, biting her. As Plaintiff was being attacked she fell backwards on the floor, screaming.”

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            I think Kingsley still sleeps in her bed. Wasn’t Alexia attacked in Kim’s bedroom?

  • TheBeverlyHillsHaveEyes

    I don’t think Bravo ever depicted the dog in any way other than unruly, disobedient and aggressive – they aired the segment with the dog attacking the trainer so if they were covering up or trying to portray Kingsley as a bunny rabbit they failed miserably!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks for your comments! Based on your fine analysis, do you think the judge will throw out plaintiff’s complaint against Defendant Evolution on April 6?

      • TheBeverlyHillsHaveEyes

        Your blogs are always so informative Stacy! I would like to think that it will be thrown out. I would be very interested to hear how many times Kay visited Kim before the episode aired on Bravo where Kingsley was sent away for training? That aired in December 2013 but as filming took place some 5/6 months before I assume Kay has visited plenty of times before ever watching that episode? IMO this is 100% on Kim. She was the only one portraying Kingsley in a good light and even to this day wants to cover up and blame others. What is most scary is that Kay’s granddaughter was also in the house that night. Kim hasn’t shown any remorse or even demonstrated that she took steps to avoid a recurrence seeing as Alexia was also bitten in similar circumstances.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you, TheBeverlyHillsHaveEyes! I’m extremely pleased you found this blog to be revealing and illuminating.

          As to your inquiry into how many times Kay previously visited with Kingsley, that is a superb question because it goes to the issue of whether Kay reasonably relied on portrayals made by Evolution. If she visited with Kim and Kingsley before March 20 (date of dog bite), it shows that on March 20, she wasn’t relying on the footage Bravo aired showing an allegedly “fun” Kingsley. Instead, if she visited prior to the dog bite, on March 20 she was relying on her own experience. Thanks for highlighting this argument!

          No doubt Kim has not done damage control on the dog bite front when it came to Kyle or Kay. It would be the humane thing to do to show remorse. However, a lack of comment on the subject could be due to her lawyer’s counseling her not to comment on the case.

  • MidwestMiddie

    Did Bravo hire more than one trainer?
    I doubt Bravo has shown all of the film footage of Kim and her dog,
    What haven’t we seen?
    Has the Plaintiff’s attorney requested all of the film?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      If the motion to dismiss is denied, meaning the case proceeds to the discovery phase, all the relevant footage will be unearthed by the Plaintiff.

      Are you aware of reports that there was more than one trainer hired by Bravo? David Utter is the trainer relevant to this motion to dismiss because his comments have been the subject of Plaintiff’s opposition to said motion. No other trainer’s statements are being used for support or evidentiary value at this juncture.

      • MidwestMiddie

        Thanks, Stacy.
        More than one trainer? Probably not ……especially if
        only one trainer is named.
        I may have read an article quoting another dog trainer about this case and
        thought he may have been part of the team.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          You are welcome! These legal blog Q&As are meant to be a collaborative effort between me and the posters so that we can glean the most information to make good judgment calls about cases. If ever you have additional insight on the trainer, I am pleased to hear it!

      • MidwestMiddie

        There is one more trainer but he was hired by Kim after Kingsley
        attacked her niece. Bravo wasn’t involved.
        Apparently Kim has refused to pay this trainer so he is taking her to
        small claims court.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thanks for the information! Because the trainer was hired AFTER Kingsley bit Alexia and Kay (plaintiff), the trainer would unlikely provide valuable or vital evidence as to how Evolution attempted to portray the dog and whether the dog was indeed vicious at the time of the bite. Kim is definitely in hot water. It seems to be a theme with her that she doesn’t pay people she owes money to, like Kay and this other dog trainer. How do you think the court will decide Evolution’s motion to dismiss?

          • MidwestMiddie

            How do I think the Court will decide?
            My Guess – the Court will allow the motion to dismiss. I would prefer
            it if the Plaintiff’s attorney had access to all of the film before dismissing the case but ………as you stated, that can only happen in the discovery phase of an ongoing case.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Defendant Evolution can move for summary judgment based on all the footage and evidence collected after discovery is complete. A summary judgment motion has the same effect as a motion to dismiss, but it is used during a different phase in the litigation. A motion to dismiss is a tool used by a party pre-discovery. I agree that a wealth of information lies in Bravo’s footage, and potentially the actual attack was caught on film.

    • Elizabeth Fisher

      We know that Kingsley attacked the Bravo crew – they never showed that footage.

      • MidwestMiddie

        That’s my guess too.
        I can’t imagine Kingsley being docile around Bravo’s
        busy and noisy film crew.

  • Jennymckitty

    If the charges against Evolution are not dismissed and the case goes forward, will they have to produce Kim’s contract? Will it be public record or can they fight to keep it private?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      It is likely Bravo’s contract with Kim will be discoverable because the contents of that contract go to a material issue in the case, i.e., whether Kim and Bravo contracted to portray Kingsley in a certain light. Bravo will probably try and fight a theoretical discovery order requiring them to produce the contract UNLESS the contract does not contain information that could adversely impact them at trial.

      You asked a great question regarding whether the contract in question will be public record or whether Bravo can fight to keep it private. Generally, unless the judge orders the records sealed, which will rarely happen in a tort case, all the details of a trial are public record. This means all of the witness testimony, all of the contract evidence, everything the two sides used to make each other look bad, will be available for anyone to read. Thus, the benefit for Bravo to settle out of court is that the parties control what remains sealed (private) and what remains public. Although, do you think even if Evolution’s motion to dismiss is denied it will settle this case with Kay? In one sense they would want to keep their contract terms private but in another sense, why would you settle a case the plaintiff cannot win?

      • Jennymckitty

        I was a RN for 20 years in a state where medical malpractice suits were rampant. Many cases that appeared to be easy to win were settled out of court because it would cost more to go to trial and because juries can be unpredictable. This, in addition to keeping things private, could force Evolution to settle. Juries seem to view large corporations less sympathetically than they would an eighty year old woman despite the facts.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. No doubt they are highly valued and give us further insight into the issue of negotiated settlements.

          I agree that juries are unpredictable, but in the personal injury realm, juries look to deny claims rather than award damages, especially in cases venued in large cities like Los Angeles where the jury pool is more skeptical of plaintiffs. Too, Bravo won’t settle just because documents would then be kept private. The far-reaching implications of a settlement for the network is that any viewer like Kay will file a claim and look to this potential settlement as precedent. I don’t see the justification for such an aimless legal maneuver here.

  • 900009

    I just feel so sorry for that dog..wish it would go live with the Pit Bulls and Paroles lady. That dog will most likely turn on Kim one day because she has let him dominate.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thank you for your comments! There is tons of literature titled, “The Misunderstood Pit Bull,” which emphasize that pit bulls aren’t inherently dangerous but they need their owners to show discipline and consistency in caring for the breed. There is also that adage, “There are no bad dogs, only bad people.”

      It would concern me that Kingsley has attacked two people now and perhaps more that we don’t know of. Clearly Kim and Kingsley are not a good fit. What would be your advice to Kim? Do you think Bravo portrayed Kingsley in a fun and playful manner or vicious one.

      • Suglo

        They definitely did not portray it as a fun and playful dog. They portrayed it as an out of control dog whose owner was oblivious to the fact that it wasn’t a cute puppy. They played with fire in my opinion. That dog needed a gentle but firm hand not some drugged out ditz wanting a cuddly companion. She should have purchased a miniature poodle if that’s what she wanted. Not going in to the merits of the case here but I do think both the producers and Kim were assholes in using this dog for a reality TV storyline.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Thanks Suglo! I think you’ve made excellent arguments and it is relevant whether Bravo used Kingsley for a storyline on the RHOBH and how they portrayed the dog. I think the point you make regarding using the dog for ratings will appeal to a jury — if its gets that far. I wonder if the storyline will be addressed tonight on the RHOBH reunion show. It seems like they must because the series ended on that note and it is a serious sore spot between Kyle and Kim.

      • Elizabeth Fisher

        Actually, it was three people. Kingsley attacked the film crew which is why Kim had to send Kingsley to the dog trainer. That’s why Kingsley was muzzled – because the crew wouldn’t film him if he wasn’t.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          There have been two confirmed attacks by Kingsley but probably many, many more. It is perplexing why authorities have not moved in.

      • Weeds1

        Thanks for pointing out that Pit Bulls aren’t inherently dangerous. We just lost our beloved Pit to cancer. He was such a good dog. He was protective but not vicious. He loved most people and we often joked that he would love an intruder to death. Pit Bulls are sweet and loyal for the most part. I guess there can be a bad dog in any breed.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          You are welcome, and I am so sorry for your loss, Weeds1. It sounds like your dog lived a great life in your care.

  • Lucy94

    Bravo/Evolution misleads the audience on plenty of issues, but I don’t believe Kingsley is one of them. Here’s my point. Evolution filmed this dog, i.e., a human being holding a camera. Now, I know if I worked for Evolution and knew the extent of Kingsley’s “issues”, I wouldn’t step one foot inside that house. Job or no job. If anyone was hiding or misleading it was Kimmy. And we all know she can’t stick to anything except substance abuse; and as for her memory? My money is on she can’t remember what she had for breakfast, let alone what happened in her bedroom a year ago. Having her sit for a deposition with a skilled attorney…priceless!

    • Stacy Slotnick

      I completely concur with your conclusions as to the intentional misrepresentation charge against Evolution, Lucy94. There was no suggestion by Evolution, who merely held a camera to film footage as you so appropriately note, of a fact regarding Kingsley’s disposition that was not true.

      As to “Kimmy,” do you think she told Kay something about Kingsley’s demeanor that wasn’t true to get her to sleep over and be around the dog?

      • Lucy94

        Of course she did! From what I understand, this woman is like a second mother. Who in their right mind would go near this animal if dim Kim was upfront about everything going on with this dog. I’m surprised Evolution doesn’t sue this nit wit for putting their employees in harms way. What kind of lawsuit would we see if Kingsley had mortally wounded a camera person? I just don’t believe Evolution would deliberately take that kind of risk. Kim has certainly become a BIG liability. Curious though. Do you know what exactly Kay is suing for?

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Lucy, check out my blog here which lays out Kay’s causes of action against Kim and Evolution: http://allaboutthetea.com/2015/02/13/bravo-producers-be-held-liable-for-kim-richards-dog-bite-attack/

          If Kingsley attacked a cameraman and that individual died as a result of the dog attack, sometimes a dog owner can be charged with murder or manslaughter. Or, when a dog owner knows that a dog is dangerous but still proceeds to allow it to run loose, the owner may be considered negligent or reckless. If the dog then attacks and kills a person, the owner may be tried for involuntary manslaughter. A dog owner can also face criminal assault charges when his dog attacks another person.

  • Elizabeth Fisher

    Stacy, after Alexia’s attack, didn’t Kim say that she “re-homed” Kingsley, and then it was found out several months later that she had actually sent Kingsley off for more training?

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Hi Elizabeth! There have been reports that Kim sent Kingsley off for additional training that was unrelated to the trainer Bravo hired for the show. In what way do you think that fact (additional training) impacts the case against Kim and Evolution?

      • Elizabeth Fisher

        Right… she sent him off for additional training, but I thought she said she “re-homed” him after Alexia’s attack.
        Stacy, honestly, I can’t help but think the judge keeps Evolution in the case. The first time Kingsley was sent off for training was after he attacked the Bravo film crew. Kim said on TV it was because Kingsley liked to chew sunglasses and shoes – unfortunately those sunglasses and shoes were still attached to people when Kingsley was chewing. Those pictures of Kay after the attack were horrific. I just can’t see the judge getting rid of the only deep pockets in the case – Evolution knew that Kingsley was a killer pit bull and that Kim was misrepresenting him on TV.

        • Stacy Slotnick

          Despite the fact I do not think Evolution should legally be on the hook for the dog bite plaintiff suffered, I agree with you that the judge on April 6 will unlikely grant Evolution’s motion to dismiss. There are just too many factual issues that the judge cannot decide but which should be left to the jury. The party making a motion to dismiss is claiming the parties don’t disagree on any of the important facts and the law requires that the complaint be dismissed. This motion asks the court to dismiss the suit either because it lacks a legally sound basis even if all the facts alleged are proven true. Here, there is a major disagreement about the facts and the interpretation of facts, i.e., whether Evolution portrayed the dog in a “fun” or vicious manner. However, the judge cannot base his or her decision to grant a motion to dismiss on whether the remaining defendant has funds to make the plaintiff whole.

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            A little over 30 years ago when I first became a legal secretary, I had a dog case where an elderly woman was visiting her son at his apartment. She was bitten on the leg by a dog on the premises of the apartment complex. The apartment complex knew about the dog living in another apartment because the dog’s owner had paid a pet deposit. The dog’s owner obviously did not have deep pockets, but she settled with the insurance company for the apartment complex for $85,000 (based on premises liability) (which is probably about $400,000 in today’s money).

            I’m not sure but I’m 97% sure Kim rents her house. I don’t know about California, but in Louisiana most insurance companies have exclusions in their renters’ and homeowners’ policies for vicious dog attacks. I know my homeowner’s policy will not cover injuries incurred from pit bulls, rottweilers or dobermans.

          • Stacy Slotnick

            Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for offering this vital piece to the dog bite lawsuit narrative. Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2013. According to the Insurance Information Institute, California had the largest number of claims, at 1,919, with an average cost per claim of $33,709. It is absolutely essential for every dog owner to have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, and that the insurance policy does not exclude accidents caused by the dog.

            I have seen some California insurance agencies cover pit bulls even though they are “dangerous” by many other insurance carriers.

          • Elizabeth Fisher

            I would love to know if Kim is renting (as I think she is) and has renter’s insurance, or if she owns her home. If she is renting, did the homeowner give her permission to keep a pit bull on the property? Stacy, I have a million questions. If I could depose Kim, all the parties and the court reporter would need to block out an entire week for the deposition… LOL 🙂

          • Stacy Slotnick

            I love your enthusiasm and no doubt Evolution AND Kay would like to keep Kim deposed for a week if they could. Also, they could serve her with written interrogatories that would probably not be filled out completely or returned in an untimely fashion. Or, we could see Kim respond to interrogatories with, “Defendant objects to every interrogatory that is overly broad, unduly
            burdensome, harassing, duplicative or which requests documents which are
            already in the possession of Plaintiff.” Anytime, send your wonderful questions and thoughts our way!

        • Nancy Krystofik

          Absolutely agree!

  • side of Sour Cream

    No matter what Kim has done good or bad, the fact that she is keeping a violent dog is proof she isn’t all there in the head.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      This has been a sentiment expressed by many posters. I am definitely on board with your logic. Kim has proven to be irresponsible with the dog and even in this case by evading service of the complaint as I noted above. Do you think the fact that she has kept Kingsley despite his aggressive nature will be used against her if the case goes to trial?

      • side of Sour Cream

        I think she doesn’t care about court. I think she keeps Kingsley because he allows her to be alone with her ex-husband’s oxycontin. Who’s gonna pop in on her with that beast around? Who’s gonna go around back (and catch her passed out by the pool) if she doesn’t open the front door? Because of Kingsley, Kim is free to sit in her house and get messed up without fear of getting caught. JMO.

  • Nancy Krystofik

    When Kingsley attacked the trainer on air, he kneed the dog, and yelled at him. That was enough proof for me to see a violent dog. Watching the dog chase a ball in the bedroom with Kim hugging and kissing him was another scene. One may say, oh he’s so sweet and playfull. I think the dog was shown both aggressive and sweet. Kingsley was also aggressive on a walk with Kim, her son, and the trainer, very hard to control. Than we see the dog frolicking in a field on tape, with the same trainer he attacked at the entrance to Kim’s house. Now we see Kingsley muzzled on his return. The message to me was this dog needs to be muzzled around any guests, because he will attack.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      You make an excellent point, Nancy, as to what happens if Evolution portrayed the dog in a negative and positive light. In such cases, the Plaintiff would probably lose on her intentional misrepresentation claim since Defendant Evolution did — at one point in time — accurately display the dog’s aggressive nature and therefore did not make false representations.

    • BHFan

      Agreed! I don’t believe Bravo is necessarily off the hook

  • RoundAbout ❾

    I’m sorry I’m arriving late to the Kingsley party, especially when I requested this one, but I’ve had a bit of a bug holding me back and couldn’t think straight enough to comment. Now for my take on all this….hehehe!

    My impression after reading the Plaintiff’s response to the Motion to Dismiss was that Ms Rozario’s attorneys are willing to gamble on whether Evolution will stay or fold in this card game. The evidence presented thus far against Evolution seems a little shaky and I’m not seeing a smoking gun there yet. However, it is a fairly universal understanding that Ms Richards, who is absolutely legally responsible for the injuries and damages, no longer has the quick cash and assets to make restitution to Ms Rozario. Therefore, Plaintiff’s attorneys are looking towards Evolution in order to secure something as restitution for Ms Rozario.

    The gamble for Evolution comes in at the point, that if this goes to a jury, will the jury see it is an attempt to score from deeper pockets and side with Evolution or will Plaintiff’s attorney manage to convince this jury that because Kingsley was Kim’s storyline last season, other than riling up Mauricio in PR, driving a race car and calling Ken Todd some unsavory name, that ultimately Kim had Kingsley because of job requirements in place by Evolution. I realize that this is not what is presented in the filing, but that is how I see it lining up in the minds of jurors, if this does go to jury trial. I think Evolution is well aware of the public perception concerning Kingsley’s attacks as well as the many documented instances of Kim failing to take responsibility for anything. I think Plaintiff is hoping that Evolution will fold, offer a settlement and be done with the whole thing. Evolution will be gauging public reaction to the whole situation before they decide to tender any offers, The case is getting a good bit of media coverage and most of what I’ve read seems slanted towards the Plaintiff. Evolution may offer a settlement, solely as a PR move, to avoid further bad press.

    • Stacy Slotnick

      Thanks RoundAbout for your thoughtful and extensive analysis here. You did a superb job breaking down the case and potential avenue of resolution. I’m delighted you shared your comments with us and hope you feel much, much better.

    • Nancy Krystofik

      would a settlement from Evolution include the injuries to Kyles daughter? Will she( the daughter) join the lawsuite? Couldn’t Kim’s wages and alimony be attached as well, from what I heard, she has a pretty good income. I mean, the Giudices will be attached in their earnings, let’s see if Kim still considers that crazy dog a son.

      • Goo Goo G’Joob

        I don’t think Kyle or her daughter would be joining Ms Rozario’s suit against Kim & Evolution. Kyle has stated that their upset is not related to any monetary compensation. I think they merely want Kim to finally, publicly acknowledge that Kingsley is uncontrollable and should be rehomed or put down because of his record of biting. We have very strong evidence to convince us that he did bite Ms Rosario, Alexia and the dog trainer. There have also been items about him biting two of the Evolution filming crew while in Kim’s home during the filming season, although no one has stepped forward to confirm yes or no so it is still speculation. As far as Kim’s wages go, Kim isn’t earning as much as Teresa. Kim is actually at the bottom of the list in salaries for the HWs. Overall, BH salaries are well below what is paid to the HWs in Atlanta and NJ due to the ratings. I do hope that Kim’s legal representation will seek to get the matter resolved by an out of court settlement. Kim would not fare well poking out her bony finger and telling a judge it’s none of his biz wax.