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Woman receives $2.2 million after pit bull mauling

A dog attack can be a traumatizing experience for a New Jersey resident. Dog bites can cause severe personal injuries and permanent scarring and dog owners are strictly liable for the damage that their pets cause.

Although some dogs who perpetrate vicious attacks have no history of biting, it is much more common for a dog to show signs of aggression before a serious attack occurs. One woman says that her neighborhood was terrorized by her neighbors’ pit bull for a long time before she woke up to the pit bull attacking her service dog in her very own bedroom. The woman recently received a $2.2 million judgment against the dog owners and her county.

The neighbors’ pit bull constantly got loose from its yard and terrorized area residents. Despite numerous complaints, the neighbors refused to properly secure the pit bull and the county animal control office failed to respond to the complaints.

One day the neighbors’ pit bull and another dog that they were dog sitting escaped their yard and followed the attacked woman’s service dog into her home through a sliding screen door. The woman awoke to the service dog and another neighbor’s Jack Russell terrier being attacked by the two pit bulls. The woman was severely injured when she intervened in the brawl and the Jack Russell terrier was killed in the attack.

A jury awarded $2.2 million to the woman for damages and injuries that she suffered during the attack. The two pit bulls were handed over to animal control and put down. The Washington State county that the woman lives in will have to pay $924,000 of the verdict because jurors assigned the county 42 percent of the blame for ignoring the dozen complaints that preceded this attack.

Source: The Seattle Times, “Pierce County, pit-bull owners to pay $2.2 million in mauling,” Adam Lynn, Aug. 15, 2011

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