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Law & Disorder

June 27, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

Law & Disorder is a weekly digest of the strange, bizarre and occasionally heartbreaking cases found in our local courthouses. Remember: The accused are presumed innocent until proved otherwise, filing a lawsuit does not automatically make the defendant liable, and the person in the black robe is probably a judge. Send your tips to veronica.rocha

Wheel of gel

April Carmen Robledo v. Petco Animal Supply Stores Inc., Case No. 09 C 04030

Carmen Robledo wanted was a cute, furry and round hamster. So at 6 a.m. July 7, 2007, she went to Petco on the 200 block of North Glendale Avenue to buy a furry companion.


But instead of a pet, Robledo claims she got a face full of floor, courtesy of a hand-sanitizer dispenser.

As she passed the dispenser, she slipped and fell on a clear gel substance, which she alleges had poured out and was left on the ground. Robledo filed a lawsuit in Glendale Superior Court, alleging the pet store was negligent when it failed to clean up the gel.

She is suing for general damages and hospital and medical expenses, which she claims exceeded $10,000.

The mysterious death of Ms. Dixie

Robert Bryar v. Daniel Schaffer, Case No. EC 050246

Dixie, a 3 1/2 -year-old golden shepherd, had a rough life.

The anxious rescue was abused as a puppy and feared being locked up in crates.

Robert Bryar, drummer for My Chemical Romance, adopted the dog last spring.

He spent time and money to try to socialize the dog and make it feel loved.

So Bryar hired Daniel Schaffer, a self-described dog trainer to the stars, to train and take care of his pet for a few weeks in April 2008 while he visited Chicago.

He paid Schaffer $7,500 for the training, according to a lawsuit. Bryar advised Schaffer that his dog couldn’t be kept in a crate or cage due to its anxiety and fear.

While Bryar was away, Schaffer called, saying he had been struck by a drunk driver.

Schaffer allegedly told Bryar that he was in the hospital and that Dixie, along with three other dogs, had been killed in the crash.

The devastated Bryar returned to California and wanted to see his dog, but Schaffer reportedly told him that Dixie had been cremated.

Bryar requested the police report and his dog’s collar. Schaffer reportedly couldn’t get the report and gave Bryar the collar.

Later, Schaffer reportedly confessed to Bryar that he had made up the whole story and that his dog had died in a crate.

Schaffer told Bryar that he freaked out and took his dog to a veterinarian, who cremated the dog.

But Bryar claimed that Schaffer’s second story was also a lie, and that the dog cremated was named “Maggie,” which was owned by Schaffer, Bryar alleged.

Bryar filed a lawsuit in Burbank Superior Court against Schaffer for damages.

He is seeking more than $10,000.

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