Seattle, WA – March 16, 2023, Stritmatter firm attorneys Gemma Zanowski and Melanie Nguyen, along with co-counsel Anthony Alfieri, filed a lawsuit against King County for their failure to protect an Auburn community from multiple vicious dogs housed by squatters on a run-down and dangerous residential property. The ongoing hazards on the property, including criminal activity, dangerous dogs, and piled-up waste and garbage, were known to King County since at least 2020.
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of Gyongyi Maas and her husband Michael. Ms. Maas suffered devastating injury on February 22, 2022, when she was mauled by vicious dogs that escaped from the property and attacked her while she was on a jog in her neighborhood. Ms. Maas suffered severe lacerations to her arms, legs, torso, and head, and multiple broken bones in her forearm. She underwent extensive surgical intervention and has a significant future care plan that includes additional surgeries.
King County was aware of the hazards posed by this property and its residents for years prior to the mauling. Despite repeated requests by residents for help dealing with the crime, vicious dog attacks, and condition of the property, King County failed to take appropriate and required action to address these ongoing issues. Neighbors continued to live in fear in their own neighborhood, until one of the worst imaginable outcomes occurred: Someone was nearly killed.
Gemma Zanowski, counsel for the plaintiff, states, “King County failed at a systemic level to protect residents of this community from the clear and known dangers posed by this property and its inhabitants. Residents begged for years for King County to keep their neighborhood safe, and King County failed to follow through on any of its promises until a tragedy occurred. This mauling was entirely preventable if King County had taken any number of reasonable steps to end this hazard.”