When the Neighbor’s Dog Goes Rogue

We all worry about the safety of our children, but what if our kids aren’t even safe in our own back yards? In 2011, two children in Gwinnett County were playing outside of the duplex where they lived. Suddenly, the pit bull owned by their neighbor escaped and attacked the first child, a four-year-old male, lacerating his upper arm. His sister, age nine, attempted to rescue her brother and was also bitten on her hand and chest.

It’s haunting to imagine what would have happened to the boy if he had been alone.

The Injuries From a Traumatic Dog Bite

After the attack, the two children were taken to the emergency room. Although both needed emergency treatment, the young male’s armsuffered the most damage. Both children also needed treatment by a psychologist for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A suit was filed against the owners of the duplex and the tenants who owned the dog. The children stated they did not provoke the pit bull in any way and were merely playing when the dog escaped and violently attacked them. It was also noted that the dog was neither leashed, nor restrained.

Next comes the stage of denial.

Defendants in Denial After Negligent Management of Their Pets

The duplex owners denied any liability and did not allow dogs in the first place. The tenants were in violation of their lease, but they also denied any liability stating the dog escaped through no negligence on their part.

During the three day trial, the landlord and tenants did not dispute the injuries to the children. It was then left to the jury to come to a verdict.

Nearly five hours later the jury awarded $150,000 in favor of the children against the two tenants, but the landlord received a defense verdict.

The young boy was awarded $30,000 for medical expenses and $80,000 for future pain and suffering while his older sister was awarded $5,000 for medical expenses and $35,000 for future pain and suffering totaling $150,000.

The Millar Law Firm Take on Dog Bite Cases

The Millar Law Firm cares about your safety and the safety of your children and pets. Even if an animal doesn’t have prior history of biting, always be cautious especially if it is unleashed or appears to be unsupervised. A cute dog isn’t so cute anymore once its teeth are around your ankle, or in this case your arm, your hand and your chest.

If you have been injured in Georgia by a dog gone rogue—or have suffered an attack by any pet—contact us. The Millar Law Firm will always take care of you and your loved ones.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above article is a factually-accurate case history of an actual previously litigated or settled Georgia case. The case was reported on in local media and/or legal reporting services and it was not handled by The Millar Law Firm. However, we think our current and prospective clients may find this information interesting and informative as the case is factually similar to cases our office routinely handles. Please be advised that The Millar Law Firm makes no guarantees your case will have a similar outcome, as past results and results of our firm or of other lawyers and law firms are not indicative of future performance.