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Negligence lawsuit filed in dog attack on girl in Schenectady

Negligence lawsuit filed in dog attack on girl in Schenectady

Girl, 3, was badly injured
Negligence lawsuit filed in dog attack on girl in Schenectady
Photographer: Shutterstock

SCHENECTADY — The mother of the young girl who was mauled by two pit bulls is suing the girl’s uncle and grandmother for negligence. 

A lawsuit filed in Schenectady Supreme Court on June 20 by Meghan McCabe names Salvatore DiNovo and homeowner Lynn DeCenzo as defendants.

The claim alleges DiNovo knew his dogs had “dangerous and/or vicious propensities” before the attack at a backyard cookout on May 31 that left the 3-year-old with “severe and permanent” injuries to her body, rendering her “sick, sore, lame and disabled.”

The lawsuit doesn’t specify a monetary amount.

DiNovo and DeCenzo were not immediately available for comment on Monday.

McCabe is represented by attorney Paul DeLorenzo.

The child lived at the 437 Clayton Road residence with several family members, including her father, Robert Pierce. 

McCabe, 39, has joint custody of the child, whom the Daily Gazette is not identifying, with Pierce.

Last month City Court Judge Robert Hoffman ordered the dogs to be euthanized within 30 days. His order came after a state Agriculture and Markets hearing to determine if the dogs were dangerous. 

DiNovo has filed a notice of appeal.

In order to stave off euthanization, DiNovo must file a formal appeal by July 17, asking a higher court to continue the stay while the appeal is pending.

DiNovo also faces several misdemeanor charges in connection with the attack. He appeared in City Court on June 24.

“We’re going through the discovery process now,” said city Corporation Counsel Carl Falotico.

DeCenzo testified last month that her granddaughter will make a full recovery, but the lawsuit states the girl’s injuries are “reasonably certain to be permanent in nature."

DeCenzo said last month the child was staying with her father.

Pierce, 39, faces numerous criminal charges unrelated to the incident after allegedly attempting to drown McCabe in a hotel room bathtub and damaging surveillance equipment in a Colonie Police Department holding cell.

The lawsuit arrives as the child’s material aunt is trying to gain custody of the child in Family Court.

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