LEWISTON – The parents of a toddler bitten by her neighbor’s dog last August are suing the owners of the building where the attack occurred.

Teila Vallee was selling ice tea in her neighborhood when she knocked on an apartment door at 68 Bradley St.

Police say the tenants of an apartment told her to come in, and she was attacked by their dog after opening the door. The dog, later identified as a pitbull, bit her on her arms, face and hands, according to the police report.

Several months later, the girl’s parents, John and Lisa Vallee of Lewiston, have filed a lawsuit in Androscoggin County Superior Court against the owners of the building.

They allege that the owners – Greg Boucher and brothers George, Robert and David Hopkins – neglected their duties by allowing a tenant to have a dangerous dog.

The suit claims the owners knew about the dog’s propensity for attacking and biting people.

Boucher and the Hopkins brothers could not be reached Friday.

Verne Paradie, the lawyer for the Vallees, said the case will most likely come down to a question of liability.

The police report describes the attack as taking place inside the apartment. If that is correct, Maine law protects the landowners from being held liable.

Paradie, however, claims in the lawsuit that the attack happened in the hallway, in which case the building owners could be held responsible.

According to Paradie, the attack left the toddler with permanent scars on her arms and face.

“She’s going to have to live this for the rest of her life,” Paradie said.

The dog was quarantined for 10 days after the incident, then put to sleep at the owner’s request, police said.


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