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Home / water buffalo

Woman allegedly attacked by water buffalo in Malibu settles negligence suit

A woman who sued for injuries she says she received after she was allegedly invited by an employee to pet an Asian water buffalo at Malibu Wines, only to be injured when the horned animal attacked the plaintiff in 2016, reached a settlement with the property owner and tour company.

Attorneys for plaintiff Simone Fee filed court papers on Thursday with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Crowley stating that her case was resolved. No terms were divulged.

The property where the incident occurred was owned by Semler Companies/Malibu and Ashley Aviation Inc. and Fee was visiting for a hike organized by tour operator SKB Experiences LLC on Saddlerock Ranch, according to Fee’s court papers.

In their court papers, defense attorneys stated that Fee voluntarily approached the water buffalo, named Speeder, to try and pet the animal.

“There is no evidence that Speeder had any propensity to harm anyone,” the defense attorneys stated in their court papers.

As part of the wine/safari tour, guests were transported to a location where many animals were maintained in addition to the water buffalo, including zebras, llamas, emus and birds, according to the suit filed in February 2018.

Fee was accompanied by her husband and was participating in the Feb. 13, 2016, hike in recognition of a  friend’s birthday, according to the lawsuit, which also states the water buffalo’s pen was made of “widely spaced, horizontal wood and faux wood panels.”

Some areas of the pen had a double fence and in other parts a single fence, the suit stated.

The tour guide talked about the water buffalo’s hair and said Fee could pet the animal, the suit stated. When Fee tried to do so, the animal “suddenly rammed plaintiff with its head, pushing its horns through the single fence, making violent contact with plaintiff and ultimately locking horns with plaintiff*s chest,” according to the lawsuit.

The water buffalo’s horns pierced Fee’s shirt and lacerated her chest, while simultaneously pinning her between the fence and a metal pole, the suit stated.

“She recalls that her body was then pulled to her left by the animal and she was pinned between the pen fence in front of her and a pole or second fence behind her as the buffalo continued to try and remove its horn from her T- shirt,” according to Fee’s court papers.

The buffalo was ultimately able to tear through Fee’s shirt and remove its horn, causing the plaintiff to fall to the ground “in pain and shock,” the suit stated.

Malibu Wines employees had an obligation to warn guests of the dangers of a water buffalo because they are “wild, savage and vicious in nature,” the suit stated.

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