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American Couple Dragged To Court By Nanny For Negligence After Bulldog Attack That Turned Her Life Around

A nanny has sued an American couple seeking more than Sh80.2 million compensation after she was violently attacked and seriously wounded by two English bulldogs two years ago while taking her employer’s son for a playdate at the couple’s home in Karen.

In the petition filed at the High Court, Ms Colletta Sebby Abonyo accuses Gabriel Oser and Joanna Block of negligence after she was viciously attacked by the couple’s two dogs on April 28, 2021.

Evidence tabled in court shows that Ms Abonyo had taken her employer’s nine-year-old son for a playdate with the couple’s son but encountered the two mongrels at the compound attacking her as she protected the minor.

She says in the court documents that she underwent two surgeries as the dogs punctured her face, causing deep lacerations and tore chunks of flesh from her body during the attack.

The woman says the change in her appearance has had an adverse effect on her self-esteem, inherent dignity, quality of life, social and leisure activities, and has the potential to impact her chances at entering into and maintaining relationships of a personal and romantic nature.

“The facial scarring and mental anguish have diminished the plaintiff’s quality of life which has made her performance of everyday tasks more challenging.

Additionally, they have led to the loss of congenial employment, the loss of pride and pleasure in her work,” Abonyo says in the court documents.

The nanny is seeking general damages for suffering, physical impairment, emotional distress and loss of amenity amounting to 70 million, and a further Sh10 million for future medical expenses.

She is accusing the couple of violating her rights to human dignity and the right not to be treated in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner.

The woman says she was employed by another couple as the primary caregiver of their son.

On the fateful day, the boy had a playdate with the couple’s son and after a short walk to the home in Hardy, Karen, they knocked at the gate and workers opened it for them.

But on entering the compound, one of the dogs charged at the minor and she instinctively lifted him up to protect the minor from harm. The dog lunged at her biting her legs and the mongrel was soon joined by a second one.

The dogs then attacked her as she held on to the boy tightly and after being saved a gardener, who has since died. She sustained deep wounds in her face, legs and ears.

She called her employer immediately and was rushed to Nairobi Hospital Annex at Galleria Mall for treatment but due to severity of the injuries, she was referred to the main hospital.

Abonyo was later treated by a maxillofacial surgeon- Dr Tilman Stasch– at his private clinic, who apparently spent between two to three hours debriding all the wounds and stitching her cheek and reattaching flesh that had been torn away.

“The pain was so severe that the plaintiff was unable to sleep and was visibly and audibly distressed that her young children with whom she lives, expressed to the plaintiff their fear that she would not survive the injuries,” she says in the court papers.

On subsequent checkups, she was referred to Aga Khan University Hospital where she was hospitalised for eight nights as she underwent two surgeries. Some of the wounds, she said, required grafting and resulted in disfigurement including in her face.

The defendants, she says, had pledged to pay her medical expenses that totaled Sh1.29 million but they had only paid Sh1.065 million by the time she filed the case.



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