A woman was injured and her dog killed in a Los Angeles dog bite incident involving a pit bull. According to a KABC news report, the attack occurred in El Sereno, Los Angeles, the morning of April 21, 2012. Officials say June McMahon was out for a walk with her dog when the pit bull attacked. She suffered injuries to her arm and buttocks and her dog, Muffy, was killed in the attack. Officials say the pit bull escaped from its owner’s yard because the owner left the gate latch open. Neighbors say the dog involved in this incident has had a history of similar attacks. The dog’s owner has apparently “taken full responsibility” and has offered to buy the McMahon family a new dog.
My thoughts and prayers are with the woman injured in this Los Angeles dog attack. My heart goes out to her for the loss of her dog. I wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Pit Bull Facts
Dogsbite.org reports that between the years 2005 and 2011, pit bulls killed 128 people in the United States. This comes out to approximately one fatally injured victim in every 20 days. According to statistics gathered by the dog bite victims advocacy group, between the years 2006 and 2008, pit bulls accounted for 52 fatalities. During those same years, pit bulls accounted for 59 percent of all fatal dog attacks.
Laws and Liability Issues
Based on this news report, it appears that the pit bull’s owner was aware of the dog’s prior history of viciousness but failed to make sure that the latch on the gate was secure. Under California’s strict liability statute, dog owners can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by their pets.
California’s Civil Code Section 3342 states: "The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness."
In this particular case, the pit bull’s owner can be held liable for the victim’s injuries, damages and losses. Injured dog bite victims can seek compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, cost of cosmetic surgery, and other related damages. Dog attack victims would be well advised to contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, who will analyze all aspects of the incident and ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.