Articles Posted in Dog Bite

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163019101-300x209No matter how friendly a dog seems, it’s important to remember that canines are animals that can become violent with little to no warning. If you’re one of the estimated 800,000 Americans each year who require medical attention for a dog bite, Escondido attorney Zev Rubinstein can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

California law has adopted a strict liability standard that holds owners accountable for injuries caused by a dog’s bite regardless of whether or not the animal exhibited prior aggressive behavior. However, this law applies only to bites, not other types of injuries caused by dogs.

Although state law only makes owners liable for one type of wound, dog bites can seriously traumatize victims physically and emotionally. Mr. Rubinstein has helped multiple dog bite victims in the Escondido area recover damages for their injuries.

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s-newdogattack.jpgSan Diego News10 reported that 21-year-old Richard Garrison and his brother John, 20, of Valley Center were viciously attacked by a pack of Pit Bulls on November 27, 2011. The dog attack happened while the brothers and three family members were jogging on a trail near Cobb Lane and Lake Wohlford. The victims’ brother Jarrod was quoted as saying, “My brother [Richard] said, ‘I’ll take care of the dogs.’ “They basically were eating him while they kept going.”

Jarrod believes that Richard saved the life of his 9-yeay-old daughter who was with the group. Both victims were flown to Sharp Hospital where Richard underwent surgery. According to the San Diego County Department of Animal Services all four dogs were impounded and euthanized at the request of the owner.

Applicable California law

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article-page-main_ehow_images_a06_qc_7t_can-someone_s-dog-bites-child_-800x800SIGNON SAN DIEGO’S Debbi Baker reported that 6-year-old Sarah Villa was the victim of a dog bite by a pit bull in City Heights on August 26, 2011. The attack happened at around 11:30 a.m. as Sarah played at a friend’s house on Auburn Drive near Euclid Avenue where the dog had been chained by her friend’s father who owned the dog. The dog got loose and attacked Sarah biting her in the face and then in the arm. According to Animal Control Officer Lt. Dan DeSousa the dog’s owner was also bit while trying to intervene as well as his daughter. “You can take a good dog and make it bad by chaining it, and take a bad dog and make it even worse,” DeSousa said. The 4-year-old, 65 pound Pit Bull was taken to be tested for rabies and quarantined for ten days, pending a decision as to his fate.

Applicable California Law

Despite the dog owner’s representations that he had only shortly acquired the dog and the previous owner denied knowledge any dangerous propensities by the dog, the owner will still face potential claims for personal injuries to Sarah (see my prior Blog post San Diego Infant Mauled By Dogs for California Law on Dog Bites). However, the fact that two young children were left alone seemingly unsupervised could potentially result in partial comparative fault on Sarah’s parents if they knew the dog was a potential hazard.

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EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE reports that a San Diego Sheriff was attacked by a pit bull on September 14, 2010 in Campo. The dog attack happened around 12:45 p.m. at 30031 Quail Road. Details are unknown other than the deputy, who sustained injuries, shot and wounded the dog after being attacked.

Applicable California Law

If the deputy was on duty at the time of the attack, he could file for workers compensation benefits for his injuries. In addition, the owner of the dog would be liable for the deputy’s injuries (see my prior Blog post for the law relating to owner liability for dog bits). Furthermore, if the attack happened on someone else’s property, who knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities, they could also be held responsible for the deputy’s damages.

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North County Times staff writers, Paul Sisson and Ray Huard, report that Hoa Lin, a 33-year-old postal worker  in Oceanside, died on June 3, 2010 from a fatal head injury sustained when a Rottweiler attacked him while delivering mail on his route. Lin was found lying in the street on the 500 block on Stanley Street around 4 p.m. on May 25 with a severe head injury. According to his wife, Teri, he was transported to Tri-City Medical Center, where doctors put him into an induced coma to try to control the brain swelling. Lin died  from “blunt head trauma,” according to the coroner’s report. The San Diego Humane Society, who handles animal  control  for Oceanside, euthanized the dog at the request of its owner.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Teri Lin, her children, family, and friends.

Applicable California Law

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North County Times staff writers, Paul Sisson and Ray Huard, report that 33-year-old Hoa Lin, a letter carrier in Oceanside, died on June 3, 2010 from head injuries resulting from a dog attack. Lin suffered a fatal head injury when a Rottweiler lunged at him causing him to fall as he was delivering mail on his route on the 500 block on Stanley Street. Lin was found lying in the street around 4 p.m. on May 25 with a severe head injury, and was transported to Tri-City Medical Center, where doctors put him into an induced coma to try to control the brain swelling, said his wife Teri. He died on June 3, 2010 from “blunt head trauma” according to the coroners report. The San Diego Humane Society, who has the animal control contract for Oceanside, euthanized the dog at the request of its owner. The incident is under further investigation to gather more details about the incident.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Teri Lin her children, family and friends.

Applicable California Law

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES Staff Writer Michael Williams reported that a Point Loma woman, Carrie McKinney, will loose custody of her infant son as a result of him being mauled on by two pit bulls on April 3, 2010.  According to police, the dogs attacked the infant when he was left alone in a carrier at a friend’s apartment in Murrieta. The dogs bit the boys scrotum, after which he underwent surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. According to Dr. Lance Brown, if the child were castrated he would require reconstructive surgery, and a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy. “While such an injury is not life-threatening, it is massively life-altering,” he stated. The two dogs were quarantined at the regional animal shelter in Lake Elsinore and then euthanized.

Applicable California

California Civil Code 3342 imposes strict liability on the owner of a dog who injures another. Most personal injury matters require a negligent, or intentional act to establish liability. In cases where there is a dog attack, the owner is liable whether or not they knew the dog was dangerous. In this particular incident the dog owner was not identified; however, if ascertained, hopefully he or she will have liability insurance to compensate the victim. In addition, the owner of the apartment building could be held responsible if they had knowledge of the dogs dangerous propensities.

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES Staff Writer Michael Williams reported that Carrie McKinney, a Point Loma woman in her early 20’s, will loose custody of her 6-month-old son after he was mauled by two pit bulls on April 3. The attack happened when the infant was left alone in a carrier on the floor of a friend’s apartment in Murrieta, according to police. The dogs tore off the child’s diaper and bit his scrotum after which he was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Lance Brown, chief of pediatric emergency medicine at the hospital, stated that if the child were castrated he would require a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy and possible reconstructive surgery. “While such an injury is not life-threatening, it is massively life-altering,” he said. The two dogs will be quarantined and then euthanized at the regional animal shelter in Lake Elsinore.

Applicable California Law

California Civil Code3342. (a) provides that the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.