It happens often in backyards across the country, but it is not every day that the dog belongs to the famous rapper, French Montana. While the incident occurred in 2017, it wasn’t until this May that a court decided the rapper should pay nearly $130,000 in damages.
Juan Lomeli had been servicing Montana’s swimming pool for six months and had never before had any trouble from the German Shepherd, whose name is Zane. Then in May 2017, Lomeli claimed that the dog went crazy while he was doing his job on the grounds, lunging at him and sinking his teeth into his arm. Pictures showed an ugly-looking wound.
Represented by attorney Brad Wallace, Lomeli testified that his injuries were severe enough for him to miss a substantial amount of work, which cost him a lot of money. In addition to the financial loss, he was left with a painful injury. Now, four years after the incident, a California jury found in favor of the former employee, requiring Montana to pay $129,500 in damages. (According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average value of dog bite claims in the state was $59,500 in 2021).
The judgement breaks down to $39,500 in past economic loss, $60,000 in non-economic loss (pain and suffering), and $30,000 in future non-economic loss.
This isn’t the only time that dogs have gotten the rapper into trouble. In 2019, Montana’s dogs bit two different maintenance workers.
Jason Leyva sued Montana after the rapper’s Tibetan Mountain Dog bit him while he was performing his landscaping duties at the Calabasas house. Leyva says the dog was on the premises but not being watched by Montana. The man says Montana should have known his dog was dangerous because it has allegedly bitten others in the past.
The suit accuses Montana of negligence for allowing the animal to “roam freely without any form of restraint or control of a competent person.”
“Defendants failed to have the dog under restraint or to take any other precautions to prevent the dog from attacking Plaintiff or other persons or to warn invitees of the danger posed by the dog.”
The suit also stated that Leyva had been unable, and would continue to be unable, to perform his normal occupation, which had and would result in financial loss. The suit sought unspecified damages.
Daniel Banuelos, Montana’s former handyman, was installing a security camera at Montana’s Calabasas home when he was attacked and bitten by the German Shepherd. The lawsuit alleged that Montana was fully aware the animal had a history of violence. It accused the musician of failing to take protective measures. The lawsuit even accused Montana of having “encouraged the dog’s aggressive and vicious nature in order to make the dog a greater risk and threat to intruders.” Banuelos sued for injuries and lost earnings, though a dollar figure wasn't released.
Despite Zane’s repeated and demonstrated aggressive behavior, Montana still has the dog.