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Suit filed over cougar attack

September 7, 2011

LISBON - The parents of a young girl bitten in 2009 by a caged mountain lion or cougar has sued the family which was housing the animal.

Documents filed in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday say Bailee Rhinestine, who was 10 at the time, was at the home of Matt and Christine Joseph on Lones Road, Columbiana on May 25, 2009.

The documents claim the Joseph's young child and Rhinestine went together to the cage to see the animal. The Joseph's child then encouraged Rhinestine to place her hand and arm into the cage and pet the animal.

The large cat responded by biting her, the lawsuit alleges, causing permanent injuries to her hand and arm.

Her parents, Ryan and Christine Rhinestine, County Airport Road, East Liverpool, are seeking damages in excess of $25,000 for medical bills for her injuries, potential lost earning potential in the future and other losses.



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