Family of woman killed by pit bull suing the owner

The daughter of Christiane Vadnais has decided to proceed with a lawsuit against the owner of the dog that killed her mother last June.

Émilie Routhier said she decided to send a formal notice after authorities let the family know Franklin Junior Frontal would not face criminal charges.

A necropsy performed on the dog determined it was a pit bull, did not have rabies and was in good health.

The dog, Lucifer, had previously bitten two people and Frontal told police he began muzzling his dog when people were over. The muzzle was hanging from the dog's neck at the time of the attack.

Vadnais' family members say they were disappointed by the November decision that there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges for negligence, and brother-in-law Gilles Vidal says that has provided some motivation for the civil case. 

"Someone responsible for a dog who kills somebody doesn't have any consequences about that. So that's why there's a civil case."

"We think that something should have been done. It's unbelievable that in our society someone responsible for a dog who kills somebody, a human being, doesn't have any consequences."

Vadnais' sister Lise says the family felt Christiane's death strongly over the holiday season - and they want people to take the incident more seriously.

She notes that some of the debate around the pit bull ban has trivialized her sister's death, with people looking for excuses for the dog or Frontal.

"All dog owners need to understand that they are responsible for the damage their dog can do - and that such damage can be irreversible"

The family are, however, happy with the city of Montreal's ban on dangerous dogs such as pit bulls, with Vidal saying that it puts them more at ease. 

"We feel more secure. I was never afraid of any dog in my life, but since this story when I cross a pit bull on the street, on the sidewalk, I cross the street because I don't want to take any chances."