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Woman attacked by dog in neighbor’s home – $125,000 Verdict

Plaintiff was bitten in the face and hand by a 130-pound Akita while petting the dog in the defendants’ home. Plaintiff and defendants were at a neighborhood gathering when plaintiff and a witness accompanied one of the defendants to her home to get a bottle of liquor. While in the home, defendant excused herself to use the bathroom, leaving plaintiff and witness alone with the dog, which was unrestrained and roaming free in the house. Evidence of notice of dog’s prior propensity for violence included testimony from prior veterinarians, which defendants attempted to exclude on claim of doctor/patient privilege. Evidence of the facts surrounding the dog attack and defendants’ notice of prior aggressiveness were disputed.

See story:  Veterinarian records provide key to dog-bite win


Type of action: Personal injury – premises liability – dog bite
Injuries alleged: Right cheek and left hand; lacerations to face, minor cut to hand; plastic surgery, scars and deformity
Name of case: Hamrock v. Dunham
Court: Chesapeake Circuit Court
Case no.: CL11-1913
Tried before: Jury
Judge: Randall D. Smith
Date: Aug. 20, 2013
Special damages: $21,892.60 total past and future medicals and wages
Demand: $195,000
Offer: None
Verdict or settlement: Verdict
Amount: $125,000
Attorneys for plaintiff: John R. Fletcher and Scott J. Flax, Norfolk
Attorney for defendants: Raymond J. Sinnott III, Midlothian
Insurance carrier: Farmers

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