A 1-year-old child was fatally injured in a San Francisco area dog bite incident, according to a KSEE news report. The dog attack occurred evening of October 23, 2009 in Delhi, California, when the child who was being watched by his babysitter was suddenly grabbed by the sitter’s 65-pound pit bull. The dog grabbed the child by the throat and dragged him around the yard. The babysitter told Merced County Sheriff’s deputies that she had to stab the dog with a fork several times to get it to release the child. She then called 911 and then began to drive the baby to a hospital herself. She was stopped by police for erratic driving. The child was then rushed to an area hospital where he died. The pit bull has been quarantined. No charges have been filed yet in connection with this dog bite incident as an investigation is pending.
My heart goes out to the family of this baby – especially the parents. I can only imagine what they are going through at this time. I offer my deepest condolences to them. Please keep this family in your prayers.
Dog Bite Fatality Statistics
According to Dogsbite.org, a Web site for dog attack victims nationwide, of the 88 fatal dog attacks in the United States in a three-year period between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, 59 percent or 52 incidents involved pit bulls, followed by rottweilers (14 percent), American bulldog and Husky (5 percent each). This dog bite fatality finding is more or less consistent with an earlier report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which states that pit bulls and rottweilers together account for 60 percent of fatal dog attacks.
Liability Issues in California Dog Bite Cases
If this news report is accurate, it seems to me that the babysitter is responsible for the baby’s fatal injuries because not only did the dog attack happen on her watch, but also the pit bull was apparently hers. She could be held liable here, based on California’s strict liability statute (California’s Civil Code Section 3342) which 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.” I would not be surprised if the babysitter also faces criminal charges in this case.
The parents of this child would be well-advised to consult with a reputed San Francisco personal injury lawyer, who is experienced and has a successful track record fighting for the rights of dog bite victims. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free and comprehensive consultation to injured victims and/or their families.
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.