Woman- Leona Helmsley's dog bit her

Saturday, January 29, 2005

NEW YORK -- One of Leona Helmsley's hotel employees is suing the real estate queen, claiming Helmsley's pet dog bit her.

Zamfira Sfara, who works at the Park Lane Hotel near Central Park, says in court papers that she was working in Helmsley's apartment on the building's 46th floor on Nov. 26 when "Trouble" struck.

Sfara's court papers say she "was viciously attacked and bitten about her right hand" by the 6-year-old Maltese and suffered "severe and serious personal injuries."

The documents, filed Wednesday, also say the dog earlier had bitten others, "as defendants well knew."

The lawsuit, which names only Helmsley as a defendant, seeks unspecified damages.

A spokesman for the 84-year-old Helmsley, Howard Rubenstein, said Thursday, "Trouble is no trouble at all. She's a loving dog."

He said Helmsley will fight the lawsuit "tooth and nail."

Neither Sfara nor her attorney returned calls seeking comment.

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