Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid in Naperville recently settled a DuPage County case for a victim of a vicious pit bull attack. Our client was walking her little Shi-Tzu dog along the sidewalk and minding her own business in the Village of Lisle when a pit bull inside a nearby house saw them, starting barking and then ran out an front unsecured door. The pit bull ran across the yard, through several feet of hedges, jumped up onto the sidewalk and clamped its jaws on our client’s hand as she was lifting her Shit-Tzu off the ground for protection. The pit bull held its bite for over one minute and continued to bite and scratch our client and the Shi-Tzu until a Good Samaritan stopped their car to help.
Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid filed a lawsuit in DuPage County against both the owner of pit bull and the owner of the house with the unsecured front door because both people were in violation of the Illinois Animal Control Act. The Animal Control Act states “if a dog or other animal without provocation attacks or injures any person who is peaceably conducting himself … the owner of such dog or other animal is liable in civil damages to such person for the full amount of the injury…” 510 ILCS 5/16. This law applies to the owner of the dog and to any person that keeps the dog on their property or under their control, even if they are not the dog’s owner. Because our client did not provoke the pit bull and she was in a place she was allowed to be, the defendants were not able to get around the Animal Control Act’s requirements.
Our client sustained multiple deep finger lacerations and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Edward Hospital in Naperville. Her fingers soon became infected and she required an extended hospital stay at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove. Unfortunately the dog did not have the required vaccinations so our client had to get rabies shots as well. After her release from the hospital, our client endured physical therapy for many months and she was left with a significant decrease in the strength and range of motion in her fingers. The orthopedic surgeon does not believe our client will regain her full strength and range of motion in the future.
We made a money damages claim for the cost of all the medical bills, all of the lost income from our client’s inability to work during her recovery, her physical pain and suffering, the disfigurement from the scars on her hand and the loss of her normal life activities, such as playing in her local nine-hole golf league. We obtained a very favorable settlement at a pre-trial conference well before the jury trial. Two separate homeowners insurance companies contributed to the settlement: one for the dog’s owner and another for the person who was keeping the dog at his house.
The lawyers at Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid are experienced in litigating dog, cat and other animal bite or injury cases in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County and Kendall County.