Victims of Dallas Gorilla Attack Share $500K Settlement

June 23, 2009

The Dallas City Council has approved a $500,000 settlement for two families attacked by a gorilla at the Dallas Zoo in 2004.

The City Council, which oversees the zoo, approved the settlement in a special meeting June 19. The settlement is meant to compensate the victims for physical injuries and emotional trauma.

Police killed the animal after he escaped his enclosure and went on a rampage in the zoo.

Keisha Heard, her 3-year-old son, Rivers, and Cheryl Reichert were injured. Heard was visiting the zoo with her niece and two sons. Reichert brought her three children.

State law caps civil damage awards against a city government at $500,000. A judge this week oversaw a process to split the money between Reichert, her three children, Heard, her two children and her niece.

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