Teen Attacked By Tiger Files Lawsuit against Branson West Business
By KSPR News Story Updated: Mar 26, 2009
The family of the teenager who was attacked by a tiger last summer is now taking a Branson-area attraction to court. Sixteen-year-old Dakoda Wood is suing the Branson Interactive Zoo and Aquarium, formerly known as Predator World. A tiger bit Wood on the neck, damaging his spinal cord.
Wood’s attorneys say the attack caused paralysis and injury to his whole body. Now Wood’s attorneys want to hold the tiger's owners responsible. The civil suit defendants are Breck Wakefield, Branson West Entertainment, Inc, and Tia’s World LLC. The suit states all three operated and controlled the Branson Interactive Zoo and Aquarium.
Wood's attorneys claim Missouri law hold's the Branson Interactive Zoo and Aquarium responsible for his injuries because they harbored the wild animal. Injuries the lawsuit claims will cause Wood to suffer a diminished capacity for work, labor and pleasure for the rest of his life.
Employees told KSPR last August, the tigers tried to save Wood. They also said Wood broke policy when he went into the cage alone to take a picture of the animals for a customer. They say he'd known the tigers since they were cubs.
Wood's attorneys say the business is responsible because the business failed to train and supervise the 16-year-old. They claim the business also failed to restrain the tiger. The lawsuit states Wood has and will pay numerous medical bills because of the attack. Attorneys claim he has also suffered anxiety of the body and mind.
Employees told KSPR they opened the business the day after the attack because that is what Wood and his family would have wanted. According to the lawsuit the family wants the tigers’ owner to be held responsible.
KSPR tried to contact Wood and his three attorneys today. Each of Wood’s attorneys were in court for other cases. KSPR also called the Branson Interactive Zoo and Aquarium's attorney. He said he did not have time to comment.