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Van Buren County Dog Bite Leads to $101,000 Settlement

Case Type: Michigan Dog Bite

Settlement: $101,000

Plaintiff: Kristie Stanley
Defendant: Ashley and Derrick Dusseljee
Case Number: 17-066834-NO
Judge: David J. DiStefano
Location: Van Buren County Circuit Court
Date of Settlement: January 31, 2017

Facts of the Case

On September 3, 2016, our client and his mother were at a state park in Van Buren County spending time with family and friends. Our client (who was 3 years old at the time of the incident) was attacked and bitten as he went to hug and pet the defendant’s dog that was sitting next to a picnic table. The dog was owned by a relative. The relatives denied any wrongdoing and claimed that our client was the cause of the attack. The incident was investigated by the Van Buren Sheriff Department and Van Buren County Animal Control.

Types of Injuries and Harm Suffered

Our client sustained a serious injury to his left ear including loss of a portion of his earlobe.

Other Types of Damages

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Unpaid medical expenses

Legal Issues in the Case

  • Was defendant liable under the strict liability dog bite statute?
  • Was there any issues concerning provocation?
  • 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 at the campsite. We obtained animal control records concerning the attack. We obtained all of our client’s medical records and our client’s dog’s vet records. We aggressively pursued resolution of this matter without the need for ongoing or protracted litigation. A lawsuit was filed immediately. Defendant’s insurance company changed claim representatives twice during the litigation and the case was eventually settled for the defendant’s insurance policy limits.

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$101,000: Michigan Dog Bite