Finally the media has printed an article that purports to report an admission on the part of on of the victims in this awful tragedy. Prior to this article, all we really had were reports of accusations from talking heads that had no reliability. This latest article however,
states that the decedent’s father has reported that one of the Dahliwal boys admitted to him that they had been standing on the wall and waiving at the tiger prior to the attack.
Now that we have that bit of evidence, what does it really affect? A tiger attack is like a dog attack. The owner is strictly liable for the damages caused by the attack. There should be no question about the owner’s responsibility for the injuries in this case either.
The jury is also allowed to consider the comparative negligence of the person or persons attacked. However, is that what we have in this case? Does the public really believe that this is the first time zoo officials were aware that people go to their facility and make fun of the animals? Kids making faces at whatever is on the other side of the cage. Perhaps that is why the acceptable standards for containing a tiger require a much taller wall than the San Francisco Zoo was using.
For more information, please refer to the section on Premises Liability / Slip & Fall.