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Orange County Jury Finds Pit Bull Owner Guilty of Criminal Negligence in Dog Attack

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A Westminster woman, whose pit bull attacked and severely injured mail carrier David Carroll, has been found guilty of a misdemeanor in connection with that September 4, 2007 dog attack. The Orange County Register reports that 54-year-old Sheri Moody has been ordered to give up the dog she currently owns and has been told she cannot keep or own any dogs during her three-year probation period. Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Thomas J. Rees sentenced Moody to her choice of 30 days in jail or community service and three years of probation.

Moody’s pit bull, Maggie, attacked Carroll when he was delivering mail next door. The dog severely bit Carroll, who retained our firm soon after that 9/4/2007 dog attack incident. I personally saw how badly Carroll was mauled by Moody’s dog when he came in to my office for a consultation. He had a nasty wound from his left eyelid to the side of his nose, up across his eyebrow to his forehead and across the middle of his forehead to above his right eye. Bite marks were clearly visible on his face, which required numerous stitches. He was also emotionally devastated. He had trouble sleeping after the attack, had constant nightmares, was agitated and on the edge.

Carroll was not Moody’s first victim. In June 2007, Moody unsuccessfully appealed a decision by the city of Westminster to euthanize her other pit bull, Brutus, who mauled a visitor to Moody’s home.

I admire Carroll, who returned to work in March. Of course, understandably, he was still afraid to return to his original mail route. He had to do commercial routes and skip residential routes until he came to terms with it emotionally. Now, he has slowly eased into residential routes. He still has visible scars on his forehead.

However, in this case, the jury has spoken. A jury, consisting of Moody’s peers, has found her guilty. She has been forbidden from owning dogs. She has been held accountable in the criminal system and the community is being protected from her propensity to own and mismanage dogs that viciously attack people.

Now, it is time for her homeowners’ insurance company to appropriately compensate David Carroll, the latest victim of her negligence. Carroll deserves compensation for his physical injuries, medical expenses, surgery he underwent, the pain and suffering he was put through, the months of work he missed not to mention, the emotional and psychological trauma he suffered and continues to suffer. We will not rest until David Carroll gets the justice and the compensation he absolutely deserves.

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