Dog Bites & Attacks
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$65,000 Settlement for Victim of Dog Attack in Watervliet

Case Type: Michigan Dog Bite

Settlement: $65,000

Plaintiff: Confidential
Defendant: Confidential
Case Number: 15-0190-NO
Judge: Sterling R. Schrock
Location: Berrien County Circuit Court
Date of Settlement: January 27, 2017

Facts of the Case

On July 26, 2015, our clients pulled into the driveway of Defendants’ home In Watervliet along M-130. Defendants had been advertising a motorcycle for sale on the front lawn of the property, though the motorcycle was not displayed for sale at the time our clients pulled into the driveway. There is no dispute that the motorcycle had been displayed for sale three days before. Three days before the subject attack, another gentleman had pulled into the driveway to look at the motorcycle for sale when he was attacked by one of defendants’ five Mastiff dogs. A police report was made of the incident. Two more people were attacked by defendants’ dogs in the past. Our client got out of his car and started walking toward the front door when no fewer than four mastiff dogs attacked and mauled our client. Our client suffered severe lacerations to his face, arms, and legs. A bystander claim was made on behalf of co-Plaintiff who watched the entire attack. The defendants claimed that Plaintiff was a trespasser and that he otherwise "provoked" the attack.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

Our client sustained serious laceration injuries to his cheek, arms, legs and torso. Co-Plaintiff suffered from psychological trauma.

Other Types of Damages

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Unpaid medical expenses

Legal Issues in the Case

  • Were defendants liable under the strict liability dog bite statute?
  • Was there provocation that resulted in the attack?
  • Was Mr. Williams a trespasser on defendants’ property?
  • Was the client entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses?

What We Did To Win The Settlement

We conducted a full investigation of the attack including contact with each eyewitness. We aggressively pursued this matter on behalf of our clients. We took the deposition of each member of the defendants’ family including their children. We requested records from all veterinary clinics and animal control offices for all of defendants’ previous addresses. We interviewed all of the previous attack victims. We convinced the trial judge to deny defendants’ motion to dismiss our client's claim of trespass. The settlement was negotiated prior to trial.

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$65,000: Michigan Dog Bite